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Colada Sweet Like Mercy: Gender Stereotyping in Twitter Conversations by Big Brother Naija 2019 Viewers

Authors: Mary-Magdalene N. Chumbow

Abstract:

This study explores how a reality TV show which aired in Nigeria in 2019 (Big Brother Naija - BBN), played a role in enhancing gender-biased conversations among its viewers and social media followers. Thematic analysis is employed here to study Twitter conversations among BBN 2019 followers, which ensued after the show had stopped airing. The study reveals that the show influenced the way viewers and fans engaged with each other, as well as with the show’s participants, on Twitter, and argues that, despite having aired for a short period of time, BBN 2019 was able to draw people together and provide a community where viewers could engage with each other online. Though the show aired on TV, the viewers found a digital space where they could air their views, react to what was happening on the show, as well as simply catch up on action that they probably missed. Within these digital communities, viewers expressed their attractions, disgust and identities, most of these having a form of reference to sexuality and gender identities and roles, as were also portrayed by the show’s producers both on TV and on social media.

Keywords: Social Media, Nigeria, gender stereotypes, commodification of bodies, Big Brother Naija

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