For my final paper I plan on continuing my previous research on Snapchat from last semester. For my research last semester, I did a semiotic analysis on Snapchat’s selfie lenses and discussed its contribution to the impossible beauty standard for women in America. Along with this, I looked at how this is both objectifying users, yet allowing them (specifically women) to self-subjectify (according to Jean Kilbourne’s theory).
For my final paper this semester, I want to look at how different genders interact with the app. To do this, I will use Feminist theory, specifically gender as a binary, to dissect and understand the ways men and women “perform” their gender on Snapchat. I am also thinking that toxic masculinity could fit into this paper well.
Thesis statement: Men and women interact with Snapchat differently based on the traditional masculinity and femininity constructs in America.
So far, my idea is to form a survey to assess the uses of Snapchat according to gender. Then, using the answers submitted by a random collection of people, I will do a content analysis. Below I have started a list that will serve as a starting point to the survey that I plan on creating. Right now they are a little scattered, so I will have to go back and re-word them, and add or delete some according to what would be the most effective.
- I identify as a female
- I identify as a male
- I use Snapchat every day, several times a day
- I use Snapchat at least once a day
- I use Snapchat once or twice a week
- I use Snapchat as a primary mode of communication (to stay in touch, make plans, to have conversations that could be done via text message)
- I usually only snap what’s happening around me instead of my own face (food, other people, surroundings)
- I use Snapchat as a form of entertainment (I mostly use the filters or geotags)
- I use the filters to be funny
- I use the filters because I’m sometimes insecure about how I look
- I usually only receive Snaps without replying
- I have saved a picture of my “selfie” with a filter over it and posted it to another social media site (i.e. made it made my Facebook profile picture or posted it to Instagram)
- I use the female-faced filters more than the male ones
- I use the male-faced filters more than the female ones
- I use the funny filters (animal/face contortions) that don’t really have a gender
- I pay more attention to my appearance when sending a snap to the opposite gender
- I usually use a filter when snapping the opposite gender
- I usually use a filter when snapping my friends of the same gender
- I rarely ever use the filters
- I like when the opposite gender sends me snaps with a filter on their face
- I don’t like when the opposite gender sends me snaps with a filter on their face
- Snapchat filters usually make me laugh
- Snapchat filters usually make me roll my eyes
- I try to make myself presentable when snapping the opposite gender
- I don’t really care how I look when snapping the opposite gender, and will sometimes make myself “uglier” just to be funny
- I try to make myself presentable when snapping the same gender
- I don’t really care how I look when snapping the same gender, and will sometimes make myself “uglier” just to be funny
Since I have also noticed that there tend to be more female-faced lenses, I may do a daily review of which lenses are in rotation each day. I will track how many are male, female, or neutral over a certain amount of time and then discuss my thoughts behind why that is the case. This could play into advertising and the political economy of the app, which I could also look at if there is still room in my paper.
In terms of reading material for this paper, I will use some from my last paper (Hall on Semiotics) and do some more research accordingly. I am thinking of incorporating McChesney for the political economy aspect, and perhaps some of the text book.
I am open to suggestions on different theories or methods if you think any others may be useful to this paper and would love to come in and learn how to form a survey for this project. Let me know what you think!