...written by a angry woman or a #Soyboy? So hard to tell sometimes.: Investigating the Reinforcement of Social Inequality Through the Soyboy Discourse

dc.contributor.authorPatrick, Anne McNutten
dc.contributor.committeechairBrunsma, David L.en
dc.contributor.committeememberBell, Shannon E.en
dc.contributor.committeememberReichelmann, Ashley Veronicaen
dc.contributor.committeememberBrown, Letishaen
dc.description.abstractThe soyboy is a label given to men who do not fall into culturally idealized versions of masculinity, specifically men who are politically left leaning and embrace alternative masculinities. This discourse surrounding the soyboy participates in the larger symbolic boundary that upholds and reifies traditional masculinity. The soyboy discourse engages with cultural knowledge that reinforces the gendered and political hierarchies that are upheld through traditional masculinity. This project outlines the soyboy discourse through two analytic components: Component I analyzes digital spaces, defining the soyboy and how the discourse is used and Component II explores how that discourse influences face-to-face interactions, reinforcing inequalities. Through a content analysis of Twitter.com, Component I answers the question of how the soyboy discourse is used and which structures of power it is reproducing. Through interview analysis with eighteen (18) young adults, Component II answers the question of how the discourse is seen in face-to-face interactions and what that means compared to online interactions. Component I details how social inequalities are a part of the soyboy discourse and Component II identifies how that discourse shapes and influences human interactions. The final section of this project outlines how the soyboy discourse reifies existing inequalities through mundane or "low-stakes'' interactions. Through the use of Component I and II's data, the final section examines the process through which inequalities are continued and preserved.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralSocial media is often perceived as a separate part of life compared to our day-to-day, face-to-face interactions. The mundane or "low-stakes" interactions of social media are not seen as impactful in comparison to how our face-to-face interactions are perceived. This dismissal of online interactions limits our ability to understand the social world. Through an investigation of the phrase "soyboy," this project outlines how interactions in online spaces move from digital space to face-to-face interactions. The first component of the project analyzed social media posts from a collection of Tweets containing the phrase "soyboy" from 2015 to 2021. Component I defines what a soyboy is and points out how the use of "soyboy" contributes to certain social inequalities. Component II moved to observe how the discourse can be seen in our daily interactions. Through interviews with eighteen (18) young adults, Component II details the way online discourses influence how people interact with each other. The final section of this project connects the findings from Component I and II to explain a cycle of cultural reproduction, which reifies and preserves social and cultural inequalities.en
dc.description.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectDigital sociologyen
dc.title...written by a angry woman or a #Soyboy? So hard to tell sometimes.: Investigating the Reinforcement of Social Inequality Through the Soyboy Discourseen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen


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