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Session 5B [clear filter]
Wednesday, July 13
 

13:45

Session 5B: Politics II: Protest & Activism
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 


Moderators
avatar for Tim Highfield

Tim Highfield

Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam

Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:45 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:46

Mobilizing Affective Political Networks: The Role of Affect in Calls for a National Inquiry to Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women during the 2015 Canadian Federal Election
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributor: Mylynn Felt, University of Calgary, Canada

Indigenous peoples of Canada have been expressing concern over the high rate of murdered and missing women in their communities for a decade. Following the RCMP report which confirmed that Indigenous women are four times more likely to be murdered or kidnapped than other Canadians, these claims intensified into a broad social media campaign calling for a national inquiry into the matter. This campaign uses several hashtags, but primarily one representing murdered and missing Indigenous women (#MMIW). As a result of 2016 federal election campaign promises, Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has begun the process of the requested national inquiry. This research examines election-related tweets containing #MMIW. This article seeks to interrogate this social media campaign through the lens of affect theory. What role does affect play in collective action claims making? What are the triggers generating affective responses from MMIW advocates during the 2015 Canadian federal election? A mixed-method content analysis reveals that anger, hope, and disgust are the most prominent affects conveyed in this campaign. Emotional triggers focus on incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper as an enemy to the cause and on memorial practices and events remembering those lost. Social networks develop cohesion through affective solidarity. The anger, hope, and disgust shared through this political frame convey the movement of activists who realized their hopes for change. 

Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:46 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:46

Movement Action Repertoires and Social Media – the Case of Migration Aid
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributors:
  • Tibor Dessewffy, Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Social Scicences, Hungary
  • Zsófia Nagy, Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Social Scicences, Hungary

Background: 

Several attempts in the academic literature aim at giving a complete overview of Internet-related forms of collective action. The ambition of the present paper is to give a close reading of the repertoire of action of our case study, therefore we consider the use of lists and categories that best fit our focus. Our empirical analysis focuses on Migration Aid, a Hungarian Facebook-based social movement that was established with the aim of providing relief aid for refugees who crossed Hungary in considerable numbers during the summer of 2015. The researched period starts with the group’s inception, 29 June and ends on 15 September – the date when the erection of a fence on the Serbian-Hungarian border and a number of legal changes effectively put an end to the group’s operations in Budapest

Objective: Migration Aid, in the course of a few weeks established a hybrid organization operating both on- and offline, with a wide and highly flexible repertoire of action, without a formal hierarchy or leadership. We argue that this complex undertaking and achievement was mainly made possible by what we coin the Social Information Thermostat function of Facebook. The concept of Social Information Thermostat (SIT) refers to the operation of a self-regulative system which permanently receives inputs from given surroundings and changes its outputs accordingly. At the same time SITs themselves are subjects of continuous change and they drive transformation of the broader context as well.

Methods: The study examined 4616 posts shared in the central, closed Facebook-group of Migration Aid from its inception, 29 June until 15 September, 2015. A combination of close reading and content analysis - also borrowing from Fairclough’s three-dimensional model (2001) of critical discourse analysis (CDA) - were used. The close reading led to the identification of central themes in the group’s posts (see Table 1), where the textual unit of one post was considered a unit of analysis.

Results: Our quantitative findings evidence that during a permanent fluctuation of demands and inputs the group effectively reacts with fitting responses and outputs. We also find that the Facebook-group is central in the establishment, maintenance and connection of diagnostic and prognostic action frames. The long-term co-occurrence of these action frames is also evidenced by the findings. Based on our qualitative analysis we discuss five substantial trends made possible by the Social Information Thermostat function: sophisticated crowd-enabled collaboration, the creation of micromedia, the centrality of mobile communication and location-based networking, and open innovation. Facebook also poses limitations on social movements that are shortly discussed as well.

Future Work: We have finished this paper recently and intend to continue to work on Migration Aid and the refugee crises by exploiting the possibilities provided by different digital footprints than Facebook.


Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:46 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:46

Networks of Outrage: Mapping the Emergence of New Extremism in Europe
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributors:
  • Cornelius Puschmann, Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Germany
  • Julian Ausserhofer, Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Germany
  • Markus Hametner, Der Standard, Austria
  • Noura Maan, Der Standard, Austria

Background:

In the past decade, Europe has witnessed the birth of many right­wing protest movements, such as Pegida and the Identitarian Movement. This interdisciplinary project, jointly conducted by communication scholars and journalists at a leading European daily newspaper, explores the networks and messages that characterize these movements of populist outrage over a period of nine months to better understand their interrelations. It achieves its aim through systematic social media and web data analysis of public communication, combined with expert interviews and on­site research.

Objective:

Our central objective is to map the relations of right­wing movements in Europe with a focus on German­speaking countries. Such movements are characterized by their opposition to immigration, European integration, and perceived ‘islamization’. Their organizational structures have commonalities with grass­roots civic movements and rely strongly on social media for organization and communication. Since summer 2015, their outrage has had significant impact on public discourse in Europe.

The project’s objectives are summarized by three research questions

  1. Howdonewright­wingmovementscommunicatewitheachotherandtheir followers?

  2. Canconnectionsbeidentifiedbetweenthesemovementsandpoliticalparties?

  3. Howistheearly­stagecommunicationofselectedgroupsstructured?Whatare

    factors in their communication that let these groups endure?

Methods:

The project takes place over a period of nine months, with successive stages of data collection, analysis, and presentation in different formats. The project combines multiple methods:

  • Network analysis, to discover relations among actors, relations between actors and media sources, relations between actors and issues (Rogers, 2013),
  • Quantitative (manual) content analysis: We will invest approximately 200 coder hours to code messages, user profiles and websites sampled from the larger volume of material analyzed,
  • Supervised machine learning to extrapolate functional categories from structural properties of messages, profiles, and websites, based on human coding decisions (Grimmer & Stewart, 2013, Scharkow, 2013),
  • On­site research with focus on in­depth interviews with experts and members of the groups and the observation of physical communication infrastructures.

Results:

The products of our research will both be disseminated through the mass media and in scholarly publications. These products will take on the form of interactive networks, statistical data, maps and stories. To­date, we have collected:

  • 150.000 tweets from 50.000 users under the hashtags # pegida and # nopegida, as well as the search term p egida
  • 389 wall posts, 54.000 comments and 180.000 likes from the main Pegida Facebook page.
  • This has been achieved using DMI TCAT for the collection of Twitter data (Borra & Rieder, 2014), and the use of Rfacebook (Barberá, 2015) for Facebook data. We plan to collect further data from these platforms relying on curated lists of accounts, and to also include YouTube and Instagram.

Future Work:

When the conference takes place, our research will have progressed to an intermediate stage, at which we will be able to present early qualitative (e.g. individual cases) and quantitative (macroscopic relations between actors) results. In addition to the outcome of the project as such, we will also be able to report on the collaboration between academic research and journalism on this vital issue at the interface of public communication and scholarly knowledge.

References:

Borra, E., & Rieder, B. (2014). Programmed method: developing a toolset for capturing

and analyzing tweets. A slib Journal of Information Management, 6 6( 3), 262–278.

Grimmer, J., & Stewart, B. M. (2013). Text as data: The promise and pitfalls of automatic content analysis methods for political texts. P olitical Analysis, 2 1( 3), 267–297. doi:10.1093/pan/mps028

Rogers, R. A. (2013). D igital Methods. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Scharkow, M. (2013). Thematic content analysis using supervised machine learning: An empirical evaluation using German online news. Q uality & Quantity, 4 7( 2), 761–773. doi:10.1007/s11135­011­9545­7 


Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:46 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:46

Problematizing the role of social media on Brazilian street protests since 2013

Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributor: Nina Santos, PhD Candidate at Carism/Université Panthéon-Assas

Background:

The biggest protests since the democratization process of Brazil happened in 2013. Millions of citizens went to the streets to fight against the increase of the price of public transportation, but also to demand a higher quality of education and health systems, among other agendas. The FIFA World Cup that took place in the country in 2014 was also a main issue at the time. The lack of protagonism of the traditional social movements that used to mobilize the people to protest was a great issue at the moment. Not only the parties and worker unions were not the one’s organizing the demonstrations, but also the participants had a clear resistance of affiliating with these movements. They preferred a self-organization and anti-political parties discourse. For that, the constant and heavy use of social media was crucial.  

In fact, the 2013 protests in Brazil had some of the main characteristics pointed out by authors to explain this new form that the protest movements are taking: the importance of the individual action on the collective action (Bakardjieva, 2015); the role of the technologies of the self on the shaping of collective identities (Cammaerts, 2014); a more personalized form of participation (Bennet et Segerberg, 2012); the use of social media not only as a communication platform, but also as an organizing device (Kavada, 2003). 

After that, the wave of protests did not cease. After the tight 2014 Presidential Election, the people occupied the streets again, this time with a different political issue: the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. But the issue is far from being unanimous among the Brazilian people so, in fact, two different movements started to organize themselves: one pro and one against the impeachment.

We collected data from Facebook pages of the organizers of two massive protests that happened in December 2015. To identify the main organizers of the protest we searched a number of hashtags used during the mobilization and identified the organizations that posted more about the theme. The mobilization that demands Roussef’s deposition was organized mainly by three very recent movements called: Movimento Brasil Livre – MBL (Free Brazil Movement), Revoltados Online (Online Rebels) and Vem Pra Rua (Come to the Street).

On the other hand, the Roussef’s government has the support of a great deal of traditional social movement and worker’s unions in Brazil. We decided to collect data from de Workers Party page (PT), the page of the Unified Workers Union (CUT) and a new front created on 2015 and called Brazilian Popular Front (Frente Brasil Popular). Although the Frente Brasil Popular is a new political grouping, it is formed by very well-known and ancient Brazilian social movements.

Objective:

The main objective of this article is to discuss the use social media by the recent political street protests in Brazil. Our main questions are: what are the similarities and differences between the use of social media by the pro and against impeachment movements in Brazil? How do they relate and or not to the existing political parties and current elected politicians?

Methods:

We work with data collected from Facebook pages related to the protests of December 2015 to identify the uses of social media made by the organizers of the two protests and the way they relate or not to the political parties and the current elected politicians in Brazil. We do that using the affordances and constraints categories proposed by Cammaerts, 2014.

Results:

We identified that the pro impeachment movement used the social media in a much more intense way than the movement against the impeachment. Also, while the "pro movement" focused on disseminating ideas and mobilizing their supporters, the "against movement" had more posts willing to disseminate ideas and to record their actions. While the movement against the impeachment clearly relates to political parties - even if many of the supporters are not identified with these parties -, the movement pro impeachment declares itself nonpartisan and with no relation to parties. However, we did identify posts that quote elected politicians that supported and helped to convoke the pro-impeachment mobilizations. 

Future Work:

This paper is a part of my thesis. My next steps in not only improving the analytical framework by also applying it to a French case of protest to identify similarities and differences.

References:

Bakardjieva, M. (2015). Do clouds have politics? Collective actors in social media land. Information, Communication & Society, (July), 1–8. http://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2015.1043320

Bennett, W. L., & Segerberg, A. (2012). The logic of connective action: Digital media and the personalization of contentious politics. Information, Communication & Society, 15(5), 739–768. http://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2012.670661

Cammaerts, Bart (2014). Technologies of self-mediation: affordances and constraints of social media for protest movements. In: Uldam, Julie and Vestergaard, Anne, (eds.) Civic engagement and social media - political participation beyond the protest. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK.

Kavada, A. (2003). Social Movements and Current Network Research. ... Social Movement Networks’, Corfu, Greece, 1–21. Retrieved from http://nicomedia.math.upatras.gr/conf/CAWM2003/Papers/Kavada.pdf


Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:46 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2