Garrett Sawyer ACF Abstract FY13

"Social Networks as Virtual Outreach: The It Gets Better Project and Experiences of LGBTQ Youth"

National Women's Studies Association 2012 Conference: Feminism Unbound: Imagining a Feminist Future

This project focuses on how the It Gets Better Project utilizes social networks constructively to help LGBTQ youth facing harassment, bullying, and rejection. Through audio and visual content analysis, the study examines themes and messages of It Gets Better Project videos, distinguishing between messages made by LGBTQ contributors and those made by allies. Preliminary research indicates LGBTQ contributors focus more directly on homophobic bullying, often including emotional personal coming out stories, while allies use bullying in broader contexts. This research provides a critical lens for analyzing the impact of social networking to a contemporary issue.