Date of Award

December 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communications


Carol M. Liebler

Second Advisor

Anne E. Mosher


#MeToo, Celebrity capital, Networked celebrity advocacy, Online activism, Social capital, Social network analysis

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Celebrity advocacy scholars have studied how social movements utilize celebrity appeal to attract media and public attention for decades. Some researchers have found that celebrity advocacy failed to achieve exceptional performance in the legacy media age. Moreover, only a very few top-class celebrities have successfully attracted legacy media attention regarding advocating social causes. This dissertation introduces the concept of networked celebrity advocacy to illustrate a new route on networked social media. Employing theories of capital and the framework of social network analysis, I test networked celebrity advocacy in the case of the #MeToo movement on Twitter. This dissertation analyzes the performance of top influencers in the Twitter #MeToo community from October 2017 to January 2018. The results provide evidence that networked celebrity advocacy functions on networked social media through the migration of celebrity capital and social capital, which encourages future research on underlying mechanisms of celebrity advocacy. Celebrities perform as brokers in online information traffic regarding social causes. This finding suggests that celebrities’ structural advantages in the online topic communities possibly affect their chance of attracting media attention for the public good, of which social activists can make use.


Open Access