A Framing Analysis of #MeToo YouTube-based News Coverage in BRICS: Media Censorship, State-controlled Channels & the Obstruction of Online Feminist Activism in China, Russia and Brazil

Master Thesis


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This comparative study investigates the media representation of YouTube-based news about the #MeToo campaign, feminism, and sexual harassment accounts in three BRICS nations: China, Russia and Brazil. The situation of women in the Global South was at the centre of discussions during the 2018 BRICS summit. While their security remains a persistent issue, officials declared that women should not feel unsafe while participating in economic activity. Although the bloc flagged gender disparities as a significant concern, media outlets perceive Russia, Brazil and China's responses to sexism and gender-based violence as inadequate. Various mechanisms also compromise activism for women's rights. This research focuses on the YouTube representation of conditions which gave rise to the campaign and the process of #MeToo in BRICS. This study considers the level of inclusion of women in economic activity, the procedures established for their safety as well as the extent of media freedom, including tools available for feminist advocacy. In addition to revealing gaps in depiction and proposing solutions for improved media framing, this research is significant because the role and repercussions of this viral campaign must be comprehended better in BRICS economies. Academics focused mainly on the impact of the movement in the West. However, the innovative feminist trend rapidly spread to non-western nations that are dominant emerging economies, showing the gravity of sexual harassment and gender disparities globally. Furthermore, the extent to which #MeToo had influenced localised iterations of anti-assault movements in these emerging countries suggests that the BRICS became sites where sexual abuse and gender inequalities unfold singularly in comparison to other nations. The study presents findings from primary research done on the BRICS, this online social movement #MeToo and related gender dynamics issues. After a presentation of the selected study design, the research provides results from a content analysis of thirty YouTube news reports (October 2017-March 2019).