Young Australian’s (re)Interpretations of Social Media Campaigns for the Prevention of Violence Against Women.

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 10:50
Oral Presentation
Lena MOLNAR, RMIT University, Australia
While much is known about the use of social media and technology as mechanisms of control and towards the detriment of healthy relationships, what we know about how these tools can be used to promote violence prevention and healthy relationships is limited. The aim of this research is to measure how young people actively interpret Australia’s nationally funded long term, evidence based primary prevention program to combat violent supportive attitudes: 'The Line'. Currently, 33% Australian women have experienced physical violence, and 20% have experienced sexual violence – most commonly from someone that they know, often their partner. ‘The Line’ is targeted towards young people aged between 12 and 20 and their caregivers to navigate influencers for discussions of gender and relationships to promote violence prevention. This research uses digital content analysis and online conversation analysis with 3 years of data flow between young people publicly interacting with ‘The Line’ via social media. It addresses how digital violence prevention resources can address peer influences and social norm intervention strategies as transformative culture that reflects and empowers young people’s agency through their use of technology. Through social media, young people negotiate their lives, opinions, relationships and selves through language and content creation as they discuss everyday risks and pleasures. They embed themselves through the hybridisation of social media to document and reshape the world around them as technological counterpublics. This project underscores young people’s attitudes as they present and reinterpret the discourses surrounding gendered and interpersonal violence in their lives; and describe what impact prevention resources have within these spaces. The findings of this research highlight the need for ongoing research into the use of social media in primary prevention of violence against women to empower the engagement of young people.