Influencers on instagram Turkey: performing the 'iconic mother' and the 'iconic woman'
Büyükkuşoğlu, Servet (2017) Influencers on instagram Turkey: performing the 'iconic mother' and the 'iconic woman'. [Thesis]
This thesis analyses popular and influential women on Instagram, whom I refer to as “iconic women”. They are iconic in the sense of being a persuasive and effectual “brand” on Instagram. The aim of this study is to provide insights into how womanhood and motherhood are represented on Instagram by and through these iconic women. Based on digital ethnography on Instagram, and online interviews with iconic women and their followers, this research explores the motivations of iconic women, iconic mothers, and their followers for using Instagram. In this study, I argue that iconic women attain power and approval, together with financial gain, through practicing the ideal woman and/or ideal mother representations that society imposes on women. The followers of iconic women satisfy their curiosity, while benefiting from iconic women’s experiences by perceiving them as “one-of-us” celebrities. This thesis makes a contribution to the existing literature on gender and social media in Turkey through the analysis of a new medium, Instagram. Furthermore this research raises important questions concerning ethics, children’s rights and consumption.
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