UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Crowdsourcing resilience : discourses of rape culture and sexual violence at the University of British Columbia Marley, Eva


Responding to the Association for Feminist Anthropology’s call for a greater awareness of the prevalence of gender-based violence in our society, this project aims to analyze multiple public responses to two well-documented cases of sexual violence that occurred in 2013 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (McChesney and Singleton 2010). This thesis considers mediated responses to these incidents, including news articles, administrative reports, and social media as important sources from which to evaluate these incidents, with special attention paid to the concept of rape culture and claims of its perpetuation within the institution. Drawing from a poststructuralist feminist framework, I explore the interplay between silence and voice within conversations about sexual violence, examining whose voices are amplified or stifled when responding to incidents of sexual assault in higher education and how this phenomenon shapes resistance narratives. While this research is grounded in specific case studies within the context of one Canadian post-secondary institution, it ultimately has significance among colleges and universities across North America. In 2014, for example, the Obama administration launched the “It’s On Us” campaign to end campus sexual assault. In Canada, demands from the public for federal legislation to address violence against women have prompted significant expansions to sexual assault laws to protect survivors (Government of Canada 2014, Johnson and Colpitts 2013, Morris 2008, Sinha 2013). This growing focus on feminist anti-violence activism has spawned what I refer to as the “crowdsourcing of resilience,” or the process by which individuals craft virtual communities of support where they can then begin to cultivate hope, draft strategies for organizing collectively and promote social change.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International