Arts and Humanities


My research assesses textual information from four universities’ “crush pages” on Twitter, a widely used social media website. Furthermore, I conducted focus groups to record and analyze university students’ reactions to and experiences with crush pages. A crush is defined as “a strong feeling of romantic love for someone that is usually not expressed and does not last a long time” (“Crush,” n.d.). Crush pages allow Twitter users to anonymously submit a “tweet” – or status update consisting of 140 characters or less – about a person they have a crush on, and a moderator then posts this tweet on the crush page. Crush pages are open to the public and individuals do not need a Twitter account to view the information that is posted to them. I investigated if there is evidence of sexualization, racialization, and intersectional objectification in tweets posted on crush pages and if these same themes were discussed in focus group sessions with university students. Before describing my research in further detail, I discuss existing scholarship on the Internet and social networking sites, online sexual harassment, racialization, sexualization, and intersectionality. I have derived my coding categories and theoretical framework from the prevalent academic discourse on these processes.