Mobilization in the Social Media Worlds

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:15-15:45
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Main Building)
RC48 Social Movements, Collective Actions and Social Change (host committee)

Language: English

In recent years, the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter bears witness to thriving protest movements worldwide. The use of social media has been observed to create opportunities for marginalized communities and groups to advance varied civic and political agendas without being confined by mainstream media and traditional organizations. However, mobilizing with social media is no easy task as adopting new information and communication technologies often requires mobilizing agents to operate under different premises for reaching and collaborating with potential supporters. Using social media may also make activists vulnerable to government and police surveillance. 
This session explores the evolving relationship between social media and contentious politics, focusing on how activists today adopt social media in protest movements. It invites papers examining the emerging forms of mobilization and organization adapted to social media environments. In particular, we would like to address the following research questions: 

  • What is the role of social media in recent social movements and activism?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges of using social media for mobilization and collective action?
  • How does social media adoption promote and/or hinder political development and progressive social change?
  • At the theoretical level, how should we conceptualize the ways that social media use reshapes our understanding of contemporary social movements?
Session Organizer:
Tin-Yuet TING, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Timothy W. LUKE, Virginia Tech, USA
Iranian Women's Stealthy Freedom
Negar VAEZZADEH, Ankara University, Turkey; Evrim YILMAZ, Bulent Ecevit University, Turkey