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Women, more so than men, are using social media activism to respond to sexism. However, when they do, they are also faced with gendered criticisms ('hashtag feminism') that may instead serve to silence them. Based in social identity theory, this research examined how women's social media activism, in response to sexism, may be a first step toward further activism. Two studies used a simulated Twitter paradigm to expose women to sexism and randomly assigned them to either tweet in response, or to a no-tweet control condition. Both studies found support for a serial mediation model such that tweeting after sexism strengthened social identity, which in turn increased collective action intentions, and in turn, behavioural collective actions. Study 2 further showed that validation from others increases the indirect effect of tweeting on behavioural collective action through collective action intentions, but group efficacy did not moderate any indirect effects. It was concluded that when social media activism in response to sexism promotes an enactment of women’s social identity, thereby mobilizing them to further action.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Foster, M.D., Tassone, A. and Matheson, K. (2020), Tweeting about sexism motivates further activism: A social identity perspective. Br J Soc Psychol., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 15, 2021