The increased use of forums, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter and other platforms in organizing massive non-violent demonstrations in different parts of the world has ignited the interest among academics, activists, technologists, and policy-makers alike about the role of social media in different collective action efforts. From protests in Iran and Moldova in 2009, the revolutions in the Middle East, the Indignados in Europe, the Occupy Movement in the US, to the more recent Yo Soy 132 (I’m the 132nd) movement in Mexico, young people are creatively leading in the use of different social media spaces to mobilize and coordinate street presence, build narratives of resistance, forge international solidarity among like-minded movements in other parts of the world, creating new forms of political participation and civic engagement.
This presentation, will explore the dynamics of youth political participation and social media from the perspective of the April 6th Youth Movement in Egypt: The first movement created for the youth by the youth in the country and a leading force behind the political mobilizations that toppled long standing dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Public opinion leaders and activists characterized the Egyptian “Arab Spring” of January 2011 as a “Facebook Revolution”. They highlight the intrinsic power of social media as an influencing factor for social change. Undeniably, social media played important roles in that revolution process. However, these roles cannot be disconnected from a deeper analysis of the socio- political contexts where these social media platforms are used and the multiple channels for communications and information sharing that influence how young people engage through a variety of ways in collective action efforts.
What You Will Learn
Maria Garrido is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Washington’s Information School. Her research explores how people, in communities facing social and economic challenges, use information and communication technologies to promote social change. Much of her work focuses on technology appropriation in the context of social movements and in international migration. Maria holds a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Washington and a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago.
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