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Approaching informal learning about #feminism on Twitter

Verónica Valcarce de Veer (Department of Theories of Education and Social Pedagogy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)
Paloma Valdivia-Vizarreta (Department of Theories of Education and Social Pedagogy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 27 September 2021

Issue publication date: 20 October 2021

521

Abstract

Purpose

In a socio-educational context impregnated by social networks, feminist organizations and individuals have turned to social media to spread their knowledge. This paper aims to approach how feminist tweets are produced to ignite meaningful informal learning (IL) processes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses an interdisciplinary mixed methodology. By using Twitter tracking tools, a database has been enabled to catalogue feminist hashtags into topics and categories for further analysis. These data have been contrasted with surveys to the managers of the most followed feminist accounts in Spain and Catalonia.

Findings

From an educational perspective, the analysed feminist hashtags have been organized in 13 different topic categories. The different propagation processes on Twitter – tweeting and retweeting – imply diverse learning processes. Moreover, tweets with complementary information such as images or links generate the most interaction, being the preferred format for IL.

Research limitations/implications

Researching with Big Data in educational sciences is a field in development, and Twitter data collection tools are mostly addressed to marketing and economic sectors; thus, free tools with limited services were used, offering the analysis of a brief and concrete situation of a platform in constant change. Although this ephemeral data and its relevance does not prevail over time, it has an impact on citizens’ learning.

Originality/value

It is the first study in Spain that illustrates the informal education that feminism offers to the community, facing the complexity of measuring Twitter with an educational perspective through the use of marketing tools.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Citation

Valcarce de Veer, V. and Valdivia-Vizarreta, P. (2021), "Approaching informal learning about #feminism on Twitter", On the Horizon, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 160-173. https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-06-2020-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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