Dominant Racial Discourses in Social Media Through the Lens of Black Representation in Film


  • Hazel Gray MacEwan University


The topic for this research project involves the observation of racial discourses in social media; in particular, this project will be examining how discourses surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement are reflected in Tweets made in response to the casting announcement for actress Yara Shahidi’s involvement in Disney’s upcoming Peter Pan and Wendy film. This project will focus on Tweets made with the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #BLM, as well as Tweets responding to Yara Shahidi’s casting announcement, with both categories of Tweets being pulled from a time frame of September 20, 2020, to October 05, 2020. This time frame was chosen based on the time when Shahidi’s casting was announced, on September 25, 2020, in order to observe the discourses on the Black Lives Matter movement that were taking place before, during, and after the announcement. This project is being conducted with the hopes of demonstrating how opinions on Black actors’ casting in traditionally white roles demonstrate the overarching discourses which are present in online conversations surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.

Department: Sociology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kalyani Thurairajah