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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Heather Dillaway

Abstract

As the use of social media grows, cyber bullying and trolling plague the way that people interact online. Even within spaces specifically dedicated to deconstructing dominant discourse around fatness, cyber bullying is an everyday occurrence. Data for this research came from a randomly selected sample of 500 messages sent to moderators of This is Thin Privilege, a Tumblr blog that explores and critiques the experiences of fat people in society. This study contributes to the growing body of literature on online communication by analyzing how commenters’ messages construct fatness and reify dominant narratives, the common tactics commenter’s use, and the characteristics and discourse of trolls versus other commenters.

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