Feminism and Witchcraft on Reddit : a Mixed Methods Analysis of r/WitchesVsPatriarchy

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Malmö universitet/Institutionen för konst, kultur och kommunikation (K3)

Sammanfattning: The present study examines r/WitchesVsPatriarchy, a subreddit hosted on the popular social media platform Reddit, which centres around the themes of women and witchcraft. This thesis employs a mixed methods approach to investigate various aspects of the subreddit. A critical discourse analysis is conducted in conjunction with a netnographic study. Content that is being analysed consists of a forum thread where users get to describe what witchcraft means to them, an introductory post written by the moderators of the subreddit, as well as content posted to the site by other members. The content that was posted was sorted into five different categories: uplifting content, crafts and marketplace, memes and humour, political content, and magic and rituals. The analysis concludes that the r/WitchesVsPatriarchy community exhibits a distinct feminist undertone, specifically embracing the principles of fourth wave feminism. Furthermore, it also reveals characteristics associated with subcultures.  The role of witchcraft is analysed and what way the users engage with it. Within this context, witchcraft is predominantly perceived as a tool for self-care and empowerment, rather than being strictly associated with religious or magical beliefs. Notably, the majority of users express scepticism regarding the magical aspects of witchcraft. Instead, witchcraft is seen as a tool used for empowerment and even as a symbol for feminism.  Regarding subculture theory, the community can be seen as a part of a larger subculture where members use witchcraft for non-religious reasons. Various forms of aspects relating to subculture theory, such as shared identities, sacred objects, resistance, and marginalization.  The thesis contends that this witchcraft community inherently encompasses a feminist dimension, whereby users harness feminist and political connections with witchcraft to empower both themselves and the broader community. Keywords: modern witchcraft, witchcraft communities, Reddit, fourth wave feminism

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