Social Media in the Hands of Young Citizen SSHRC Funded Project 2010-2013

This research project explored how young people engage the participatory, interactive aspects of Web 2.0 and conversely, how the exponential rise of social media shape youth political engagement.

In November 2011, Dr. Boler and her research team conducted 50 interviews of Occupy Toronto participants, and Dr. Boler observed and conducted interviews as well at Occupy Wall Street, Occupy SF, and Occupy Oakland. The team then completed a literature review, and conducted close analysis of the archives of Twitter feeds that represent the widespread public debates taking place as part of this new hybrid (engaging social media and digital communications, alongside face-to-face, “in the streets”) social movement.  Our critical discourse analysis of the interviews resulted in numerous publications, including:

Boler, M. and J. Phillips. “Entanglements with Media and Technologies in the Occupy Movement.” The Fibreculture Journal Special Issue: Entanglements–Activism and Technology (2015).

Reilly, Ian and Megan Boler. “”The Rally to Restore Sanity, prepoliticization, and the future of politics.” Communication, Culture & Critique 7.4 (2014): 435-452.

Boler, M., A. Macdonald, C. Nitsou, and A. Harris, “Connective labor and social media: Women’s key roles in the ‘leaderless’ Occupy Movement,” Special Issue, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 2014.

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