Publication Year

2019

Keywords

social media, activism, higher education, counterspaces

Disciplines

Social and Cultural Anthropology

Abstract

This research explores how student activists at a liberal arts campus in Southern California navigate online and in-person spaces in the context of their activism. While existing literature emphasizes that online spaces are being used as alternative “counterspaces” for activism, this study reveals that students’ social lives are entangled in the interactions that occur in both spaces, and their online activism is directly informed by the particulars of the university space itself. This study reimagines and utilizes the theoretical framework of a counterspace to include a more dynamic, fluid approach to how social space is constructed in the lives of students. The three methods of data gathering included individual and group interviews, participant observation, and social media data. Themes—(a) being an ‘activist’ (b) ‘othered’ bodies (c) cultivating allyship (d) educational opportunities—explore how online actions can be described as a reimagined ‘counterspace’ that allows students to enhance their practices of activism in some cases.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Sociology and Anthropology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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