Is our digital engagement in social causes really worth the title of being a real activist? Maybe not always, but one should not underestimate the power of Slacktivism as a powerful tool to raise awareness that can lead to valued self-education.
We live in a digital age, where our ability to access information and create content never has been easier. Technology has also expanded our social circles, by our frequent use of social media, where geographically distant people have become our virtual neighbors. One can even say that we have Continue reading “The Power of Slacktivism as a Tool to Self-Educate”
The European Week of Action for Girls has just passed, which is a yearly event that aims to promote the empowerment of European women and girls. In order to join this action, we decided to cover an online conference that was held as part of the European Women’s Lobby project Her Net Her Rights.
Prominent figures within the feminist movement, like activists and researchers, had gathered around the virtual table to discuss women’s rights issues online and possible solutions to create a safer web for Europe’s women and girls, as part of Her Net Her Rights by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL). Continue reading “Her Net Her Rights – this is how we do it”
Online sexual harassment is part of many girls’ and women’s everyday life. As legislation is slow and patriarchal structures urges women to disengage and avoid any risks rather than to fight back, resisting isn’t always the easiest way to go. But by using online platforms as a way of exposing and responding to harassment, a growing number of women are finding new, creative ways of fighting back.
A study from Swedish children’s rights organization, Friends, shows that one-in-five girls in the age 10-16 in Sweden have been victims of online sexual harassment last year (Friends 2017). An American study shows how online harassment is on the rise in the US.
Continue reading “Resisting #assholesonline – feminist activism against online sexual harassment”
I consider New Media to mainly be about connection and connecting people and information, but lately I have thought about the circumstances and felt the need to investigate how it allows us or not as activist to work collectively and with courage.
As a student I’m always interested in interdisciplinary investigations and my favourite discipline to involve in my communication studies is sociology. This connection between new media and sociology might not seem obvious at first glance, but during this research I have found more and more academic and journalistic writing on how we engage as humans through social media, both as individuals and in collective.
Continue reading “How sociology can help us to create stronger online dialogue”
We live in a time where polarization of opinions is growing. Expressions of xenophobia and misogony are getting more and more normalized. Based on the premise that positive (mediated) contact with ‘others’ reduce prejudice, where are the digital initiatives that try to bridge across differences within the public sphere? Is Swedish activist group #jagärhär one of them?
One of the first lectures I listened to when I started studying Communication for Development about a year ago was from professor Silvio Waisbord (2016). He posed some questions that haven’t left me since then. He talked about how the mediated public sphere of today is characterized by “shattering of the public”, meaning that the public is no longer one single public body, but many, and in many cases disconnected from each other. Polarization is a fact. He pointed at phenomena like digital narcissism and echo chamber communication where all you see and read confirms your own world view. Based on the premise that positive (mediated) contact with ‘others’ reduce prejudice, Waisbord called for digital initiatives that try to bridge across differences within the public sphere. But he did not have one single example so far. That beat me down.
Continue reading “Digital Activism – ingroup bonding or bridging across differences? The case of #jagärhär”
New Media generates opportunities for people to share and exchange experiences, discuss ideas and opinions, learn languages etcetera in a new pace and through new tools. So what is the potential of this new media when used for development and social change?
As we have mentioned in the introduction post, many of us think of social media when we talk about new media activism, which is adequate as social media on a societal level creates exceptional opportunities for information flow, emotional expression, and social influence or advocacy (Lewis et al, 2014:1). For me, the deduction of this is solidarity.
A unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group. Continue reading “Is new media activism an illusion of new solidarity?”
Most of us probably have an idea of what new media activism, or digital activism, is and what implications it has on society and development. In this blog we will give you some contemporary examples of online activism and discuss its consequenses. But first, let us tell you what is “new” with new media and how it can be used for activism and development!
Welcome to our blog! We hope you will stay a while and that you will come back soon:)
We are four students from the Communication for Development Master Program at Malmö University and this blog is part of a course called “New Media, ICT and Development”. Continue reading “New Media Activism – what are we talking about?”