A Systemic Functional Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Selected Feminist Multimedia Images on Fanpop.Com

Eniola, Oluwaseun Mercy (2016)



The research identified and classified the feminist orientations in the selected posts on fanpop.com. It alsodescribed the visual and linguistic devices used in articulating these orientations andrelated the linguistic devices to the attitude of the fanpop.com users in relation to their ideological orientations. This was with a view to characterising the form and content of the constructions of feminism in the online forum. The study employed both primary and secondary sources of data. The primary data consisted of 60 multimedia images posted on fanpop.com between January 2013 and April 2015. The site was selected based on the observation that its scope of feminist multimedia constructions is eclectic and unrestrained just as feminist orientations are. Also, the time span was designed for the purpose of currency (not of authorial production but of user’s postage). The secondary data comprised books, journal articles and the Internet. The theoretical framework used in carrying out the analysis was O’Halloran’s model of Systemic Functional Multimodal Discourse Analysis. The results of the study showed that in the interpersonal category of the metafunctions, imperatives were used in protests and campaigns to command actions against sexism and patriarchy in all their forms. Declaratives were also used to serve as an expression of feminist belief (equality), and aspiration (the pursuit of gender equality) while constructing their sense of self, their exploitations and their opportunities. Feminists also employed interrogatives to stimulate debates and thereby start and/or revisit certain assumptions about gender. Also, exclamations were used as expressions of assertiveness and resoluteness. The study also found that aggressive verbal posts and modals were respectively used to reiterate feminist resolution to deconstruct existing gender order and expressions of necessity and logical obligation to the feminist cause. The use of relational processes attributed women with liberating and assertive traits which free them from enslaving patriarchal notions. The study also found that feminist use of colour, facial expressions, typography, sign categories and non-verbal actions to express such concerns as emphasis on equality and a blurry line of gender demarcations, the celebration of ideological diversity, the correction of false feminist notions, and the need for education and a continued struggle against gender prejudices. The study concluded that the use of fanpop.com as a platform for propagating feminist ideology has a far-reaching effect in advocating encompassing gender equality