Networking, Exclusion and Negotiated Visibility: Feminist and Anti-Racist Social Media Debaters’ Endurance Strategies

Sofia Larsson

Abstract


Since the rise of the Internet, there has been a growing interest in research on its implications for democracy and participation. This article contributes to the research on online citizen political participation with a bottom-up, grassroots perspective that focuses on non-professional and individual actors. Through interviews with 15 young Swedish bloggers and social media debaters involved in feminist, anti-racist and leftist politics, the present article explores the conditions for citizen participation, as well as the benefits and impediments to being a blogger and social media debater. The conclusion is that while engaged citizens focused on feminism and anti-racism have many negative experiences, strategies enabled by social media use give them access to a support system that is fundamental to their endurance. The challenges for feminists and women online seem to be the same as those present at the beginning of the 1990s, but strategies for coping and resisting are now enabled by new tools. The participants in this study depend on their network for collaboration, safety, dissemination of content, support, and a sense of community, which is facilitated by the use of information and communication technologies for collaboration and dissemination.

Keywords


civic engagement, political participation, social media, bloggers, feminists

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS12520181319

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/