Call for Papers: Special Issue of Social Media + Society: Marginality and Social Media - reminder
Social media and the internet have opened up new forms of empowerment and oppression that may particularly affect the lives of the marginalized. Marginality, as we are defining it, following Gatzweiler and Baumüller (2013), can be understood as the experience of disadvantaged (typically involuntarily) people or groups who are excluded from the resources and opportunities they need to participate as full and equal members of society. Marginality influences what people can achieve and limits their abilities to take advantage of the resources and opportunities afforded to non-marginalized peers. Further, marginalized individuals and groups are often politically, economically, and/or socially vulnerable, as their susceptibility to harm is greater, often due to to their exclusion from critical resources.
Sometimes social media are a means for marginalized individuals or groups to address insufficient resources and barriers to participation. For example, social media have been implicated in new opportunities for building social capital (Gonzales, 2017), finding like-minded others (Blackwell et al., 2016; Clark-Parsons, 2017; Dhoest & Szulc, 2016; Gray, 2009; Jackson, Bailey, & Foucault-Welles, 2017; Pearce & Vitak, 2016; Pearce, Vitak, & Barta, 2018), providing social support (Gonzales, Kwon, Lynch, & Fritz, 2016; Hanasono & Yang, 2016; Rho, Haimson, Andalibi, Mazmanian, & Hayes, 2017), and engagement in advocacy (Blackwell et al., 2016; Fritz & Gonzales, 2018; Jackson et al., 2017).
At the same time, other research highlights the shortcomings of social media use for the marginalized as well, including harassment and discrimination (Duguay, 2016; Eckert, 2018; Fritz & Gonzales, 2018; Lawson, 2018; Marwick & Caplan, 2018; Nakamura, 2015), doxxing (Wood, Rose, & Thompson, 2018), surveillance (Manning & Stern, 2018; Marwick, Fontaine, & boyd, 2017; Megarry, 2017; Pitcan, Marwick, & boyd, 2018; Vickery, 2014), and the use of social media by people in power to further isolate the marginalized (Flores-Yeffal, Vidales, & Martinez, 2017; Linabary & Corple, 2018; Pearce, 2015; Woods, 2014).
These opportunities and risks affect marginalized people’s use of social media at all stages: access, skills, optimization, privacy, backlash, and development of features, applications, platforms, and tools to deal with unanticipated outcomes, etc. This call seeks manuscripts that consider either or both the strengths and the weaknesses of internet and social media communication for individuals from marginalized groups with the hope of building theory in this area that can ground and foster continued research and understanding.
We seek manuscripts that include a novel analysis of data and meaningfully engage with theory on marginalization. We follow Linabary and Corple's (2018) call to "study up" - start research from the lived experience of such groups for understanding. “Meaningful engagement” includes (but is not limited to): emphasizing the links between marginalization theory and communication research; testing the validity of communication theory not typically applied to marginalized populations; proposing new theoretical constructs that are relevant to marginalization in digital communication; and/or recognizing the need for theoretically interdisciplinary approaches to marginalization in communication. We also welcome manuscripts that engage with methodological approaches to marginality and social media (e.g., Brock, 2016; Linabary and Corple, 2018), as these are important building blocks for successful and ethical research. Finally, we also seek manuscripts that engage stakeholders out!
side of the academic sphere as collaborators, including policy makers, activists, non-profit representatives, as well as, of course, representatives from marginalized communities being investigated. Projects with a public outreach component that benefits marginalized communities or groups as a function of their investigation (e.g. community workshops, media engagement, etc.) are especially encouraged. All authors must follow basic precepts of ethical research at all research stages, and take into consideration community norms related to privacy.
Basic precepts include: respect for privacy, secure storage of sensitive data, voluntary and informed consent when appropriate, avoiding deceptive practices when not essential, beneficence (maximizing the benefits to an individual or to society while minimizing harm to the individual), and risk mitigation. Members of marginalized groups may require additional safeguards to ensure ethical and responsible treatment during research. Authors are encouraged to discuss these issues, and include a section on ethical considerations in their final manuscripts.
We seek submissions relating to social media and marginalization, broadly construed. Possible topics include:
-Social media as a non-traditional way of accessing power
-Barriers to social media use (tied to marginality)
-Effects of social media use (tied to marginality)
-Marginalized identities/groups’ use of social media for social support
-Use of social media for advocacy or awareness-building
-Use of social media to work around traditional gatekeepers
-Privacy calculus or risk-benefits for marginalized online
-Harassment of marginalized people or groups online
-Self-presentation of marginalized online
-Ethics/methods of studying marginalized people online or engaging with technology
Katy Pearce, University of Washington
Brooke Foucault Welles, Northeastern University
Amy Gonzales, University of California, Santa Barbara
Authors should initially submit an extended abstract of 800-1000 words (not including references). The extended abstract should contain the key elements of the manuscript, research questions, methodology and the primary contribution of the manuscript.
The form will also ask for author contact information and abbreviated biography statements for each author describing their main research interests and background.
Extended abstracts 800-1000 words (not including references) due November 28, 2018, 12noon Eastern Time - upload here: https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Fsites.google.com%2Fview%2Fmarginalityandsocialmedia%2Fhome&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGrzLCNGwA0tCqSM0UlJhEaNVLt3w
Extended abstract authors notified of acceptance ~February 15, 2019
Full manuscript (~8000 words) due May 20, 2019, 12 noon Eastern Time
-- Reviews given to authors --
Revised manuscript due November 15, 2019, 12 noon Eastern Time
Democracy and Disinformation in the Era of Trump
University College Dublin, 10-11 December 2018
Are we in the end-times of liberal democracy in the United States? For some years, Americans have been losing faith in institutions, civil norms, and perhaps the idea of America itself. The question has been dramatically sharpened by the election and presidency of Donald Trump.
Is it possible that liberal democracy – and by extension the liberal world order that the United States guided and gained from – was a short moment in American history, a seventy-year period of relative democratic stability at home and global leadership abroad. Is an epochal shift taking place? If so, to what? Illiberal democracy? What are we to call and how are we to understand the emerging order?
These questions have been complicated by the radical disruption of political culture and communication by new digital technologies and the prevalence of disinformation in place of a reliable and consensual ground of information and understanding. And by the distracting “reality show” of the Trump presidency that blurs entertainment and political life as never before. This overstimulation is disorienting, and damaging to basic perceptions about what constitutes politics or diplomacy.
How can Americans reconnect with or reinvent democratic traditions and institutions? How can journalism regain public trust and attention and help to shape a functioning democracy? What is the future of dissent and free speech in the digital era? Can social media be a source for democratic good?
This conference brings together journalists, scholars and activists to converse about American political realities and unrealities today, and to share insights on reimagining and rebuilding a democratic polity.
Topics may include (but are not confined to):
- the resilience of the public sphere
- discourses and narratives of American decline
- delegitimisation of knowledge and expertise
- populist media politics
- effects of digital technologies on political communications
- media literacy
- media concentration
- the civil impact of social media
- the Trump effect on news consumption
- conservative media ecology
- effects of Russia’s disinformation campaigns
- emerging forms of dissent and activism
- the erosion of democratic norms
- the rise of tribalism and intolerant communities
- culture wars and cultural nationalism
- online echo chambers and subcultures
Plenary speakers include:
Siva Vaidhyanathan (University of Virginia, author of Antisocial Media)
Angela Nagel (writer, author of Kill All Normies)
Gary Younge (The Guardian)
We invite proposals from all academic disciplines and from activists and writers beyond academia. Please submit the paper title, an abstract of 300 words, a short bio and contact details. We also welcome applications for full panels of 3-4 papers. The deadline for paper and panel proposals is 1st October 2018. (Note – we will make decisions on paper/panel submissions on a rolling basis to help facilitate participant’s planning for conference attendance).
For further details, please contact Catherine Carey at UCD Clinton Institute: Catherine.Carey@ucd.ie; tel. ++353 1 716 1560
Perspectives on Extreme Speech Online
The House of Artists, Munich, Germany
Udupa, U of Munich (LMU), Germany
Hervik, Aalborg U, Denmark
Gagliardone, U of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
abstract deadline: 1 November 2018
Full papers due: 3 December 2018
cultures of political aggression and hateful speech have come to the center of public debate and concern, as right-wing nationalist and populist waves have swept political cultures with a new lexicon of exclusionary moral discourse aimed against minoritized groups. In North America and Europe, the rise of the “far-right” and “neonationalist” movements in the last two decades have triggered and relied on online belligerence of racialized joking, intimidation and “fact-filled” untruths (Banks & Gingrich, 2006; Hervik 2016). In countries like Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Kenya and South Africa, major social media services such as Facebook and Whatsapp have not only offered an easy platform to revive vitriol against religious minorities and ethnic “others”, but they
have also led to a “subterranean” flow of rumor and fear mongering, injecting a new velocity to mob lynching and targeted physical violence (Gagliardone et al. 2017; Lee, 2019; Udupa, 2018). Digital expressions have pushed back liberal modulations of “civility”, drawing strength from locally approved cultural idioms, globally shared formats of humor and historically sanctioned structures of animosity (Udupa & Pohjonen, 2019). While huge numbers of dispersed, unorganized “ordinary” online users are participating in online extreme speech practices, regimes have also engaged organized production of disinformation by making use of the very infrastructure of globalization around flexible, precarious and outsourced labour (Ong and Cabanes, 2018). We capture these digitally mediated moral outrage and vitriol for overt and implicit political goals as online “extreme speech”. By defining online vitriol of political exclusion as “extreme speech”, we depart from the regulatory-normative debates of “hate speech”. We instead draw attention to media practices and how and why online actors engage in forms of speech that are disapproved in other contexts of interaction.
In this international workshop, we extend our effort to place the vitriolic face of the Internet in a critical global conversation backed with ethnographic sensibility – studies that are attuned to the understanding of lived practices and narratives of online actors, historically shaped political structures, and online affordances in situated contexts. We consider online actors to include i. dispersed yet ideologically active individual producers of exclusionary extreme speech, ii. semi-organized groups of volunteers and organized groups for right wing movements and ethnic/racial hatred, iii. minoritized groups targeted by extreme speech (refugees, immigrants, “liberals”, humanists, religious/ethnic groups), iv. politically “agnostic” paid trolls, v. business minded digital
influencers, as well as vi. civil society groups, individuals and community associations engaged in creative resistance to online extreme speech.
Recognizing the global spread of online extreme speech, we invite submissions that can take the debate beyond the Euro-American concerns around “fake news” and “echo chambers”. We invite submissions that are especially attentive to local idioms, media practices and tensions
that have made online extreme speech a daily reality of everyday politics, with profound implications for how belonging is imagined, enacted and brutally enforced in different parts of the world.
Attendance to this closed workshop is fully funded. Organizers will cover the costs of travel and accommodation. Submissions will contribute to a planned co-edited volume, and should therefore not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
Please send your extended abstracts (1200 words) to
firstname.lastname@example.org before 1 November 2018. Selected participants will be notified by 10 November 2018. Abstracts should contain a clear outline of the argument, theoretical framework, methodology, ethnographic material (findings if applicable), and a brief note on how your research links to the overall theme of the workshop. Please also include 3-5 keywords that describe your work, and a short bio (max 100 words, stating affiliation). Full papers (6000 words) of selected submissions are due on 3 December 2018.
Field based media practice research and ethnographic explorations of
online users and political aggression
production of trolls and vitriol
rumor, virality and mob violence
memes, jokes and exclusion
of online extreme speech
6.. Resistance to online extreme speech
New mixed methods using ethnography and data analysis of extreme speech
Field based explorations of regulating online extreme speech with fine grained analysis of the tussles among Internet service providers, social networking sites, state regulators, civil society groups and individual activists.
workshop is hosted by Project ONLINERPOL (www.fordigitaldignity.com) funded by the European Research Council (Grant Agreement Number 714285) at the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), Germany.