Utilising Instagram and Mobile Phones to Facilitate Feminist Conversations with Asian Migrant Women in Aotearoa

Yeung, Helen
Norris, Sigrid
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Master of Communication Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis examines how a prescribed set of prompts and interactive activities can facilitate feminist conversations with Asian migrant women through Instagram and their mobile phones in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Through the utilisation of digital technologies, this study examines how Instagram and mobile photos aid in the process of shifting modes of feminist storytelling, self-representation and consciousness-raising. This research project follows the journey of six Asian migrant women participants amidst the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 and the image, audio, video, and textual content they created over the course of four weeks. Drawing on a framework informed by an ontology of lived experience, fourth-wave feminism and DIY self-publishing, this research project illuminates the existing knowledge gap on the gendered-racialized narratives of Asian migrant women in Aotearoa. As shown in literature, Asian migrant women’s voices are often invisibilised by masculinist and policy-oriented discourses. However, such accounts fail to account for the nuances, agency and complexities in the women’s lives, and disallows them an empowered position to articulate their own stories beyond pain, trauma and violence. I address how innovative methods of data gathering can address this gap in literature, and further, facilitate and challenge forms of gendered-racialized oppression in academia.

Asian migrant women , Multimodality , Migration , Identity , Communication studies , Intersectionality , Digital technologies , Storytelling , Instagram , Digital activism , Mobile devices , Feminism , Multimodal (inter)action analysis , Covid-19
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