Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Social Movements Related Abstracts

12 The Role of Online Social Networks in Social Movements: Social Polarization and Violations against Social Unity and Privacy of Individuals in Turkey

Authors: Tolga Yazıcı


As a matter of the fact that online social networks like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace have experienced an extensive growth in recent years. Social media offers individuals with a tool for communicating and interacting with one another. These social networks enable people to stay in touch with other people and express themselves. This process makes the users of online social networks active creators of content rather than being only consumers of traditional media. That’s why millions of people show strong desire to learn the methods and tools of digital content production and necessary communication skills. However, the booming interest in communication and interaction through online social networks and high level of eagerness to invent and implement the ways to participate in content production raise some privacy and security concerns. This presentation aims to open the assumed revolutionary, democratic and liberating nature of the online social media up for discussion by reviewing some recent political developments in Turkey. Firstly, the role of Internet and online social networks in mobilizing collective movements through social interactions and communications will be questioned. Secondly, some cases from Gezi and Okmeydanı Protests and also December 17-25 period will be presented in order to illustrate misinformation and manipulation in social media and violation of individual privacy through online social networks in order to damage social unity and stability contradictory to democratic nature of online social networking.

Keywords: Turkey, Social Movements, Democratic participation, online social media networks, social polarization, privacy of individuals

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11 Conflict of the Thai-Malaysian Gas Pipeline Project

Authors: Nopadol Burananuth


This research was aimed to investigate (1) the relationship among local social movements, non-governmental Organization activities and state measures deployment; and (2) the effects of local social movements, non-governmental Organization activities, and state measures deployment on conflict of local people towards the Thai-Malaysian gas pipeline project. These people included 1,000 residents of the four districts in Songkhla province. The methods of data analysis consist of multiple regression analysis. The results of the analysis showed that: (1) local social movements depended on information, and mass communication; deployment of state measures depended on compromise, coordination, and mass communication; and (2) the conflict of local people depended on mobilization, negotiation, and campaigning for participation of people in the project. Thus, it is recommended that to successfully implement any government policy, consideration must be paid to the conflict of local people, mobilization, negotiation, and campaigning for people’s participation in the project.

Keywords: Conflict, Social Movements, NGO activities, state measures

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10 Gold, Power, Protest, Examining How Digital Media and PGIS are Used to Protest the Mining Industry in Colombia

Authors: Doug Specht


This research project sought to explore the links between digital media, PGIS and social movement organisations in Tolima, Colombia. The primary aim of the research was to examine how knowledge is created and disseminated through digital media and GIS in the region, and whether there exists the infrastructure to allow for this. The second strand was to ascertain if this has had a significant impact on the way grassroots movements work and produce collective actions. The third element is a hypothesis about how digital media and PGIS could play a larger role in activist activities, particularly in reference to the extractive industries. Three theoretical strands have been brought together to provide a basis for this research, namely (a) the politics of knowledge, (b) spatial management and inclusion, and (c) digital media and political engagement. Quantitative data relating to digital media and mobile internet use was collated alongside qualitative data relating to the likelihood of using digital media in activist campaigns, with particular attention being given to grassroots movements working against extractive industries in the Tolima region of Colombia. Through interviews, surveys and GIS analysis it has been possible to build a picture of online activism and the role of PPGIS within protest movement in the region of Tolima, Colombia. Results show a gap between the desires of social movements to use digital media and the skills and finances required to implement programs that utilise it. Maps and GIS are generally reserved for legal cases rather than for informing the lay person. However, it became apparent that the combination of digital/social media and PPGIS could play a significant role in supporting the work of grassroots movements.

Keywords: Social Media, Mining, Digital Media, Social Movements, GIS, Protest, Colombia, PGIS

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9 Fear-Mongering and Its Antidotes: The Case of the Hungarian Anti-Migrant Campaign

Authors: Zsofia Nagy


A sharp increase in the number of refugees crossing Hungary during 2015, coupled with the Hungarian government’s agenda-setting strategy led to a powerful anti-migrant campaign in public, framing asylum-seekers as external threats to the country. While this campaign was, by and large, unchallenged by the Hungarian parliamentary opposition, Two-Tailed Dog Party, a Hungarian mock-party launched a counter-billboard campaign attacking the governmental discourse. Taking the latter as a case of digitally supported civic action, the paper first discusses two theoretical problems related to contemporary social movements: the problem of voice and the problem of participation. Afterward the paper presents the case of the Hungarian anti-migrant billboard campaign led by the government and the counter-billboard campaign and examines their action repertoires. It argues that a number of strategic differences are noteworthy: contrasts between traditional and digital methods, the reliance on the ’spirals of silence’ on the one hand and the breaking of this very silence on the other, where people are holding a minority opinion were given a platform and visibility in public. On a deeper level, the counter-campaign challenged the hegemonic views about public discourse. It effectively contrasted the government’s one-to-many, top-bottom approach to political communication with a campaign that relied on many-to-many communication and a bottom-up approach. While it is true that through memetic engineering, the original governmental messages were altered and the outcomes were brought back to the streets of Hungary; the effects of the two campaigns nevertheless reinforced the original anti-migrant focus of the political agenda.

Keywords: Migration, Refugees, Social Movements, counterpublics

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8 The Creation of Micromedia on Social Networking Sites as a Social Movement Strategy: The Case of Migration Aid, a Hungarian Refugee Relief Group

Authors: Zsofia Nagy, Tibor Dessewffy


The relationship between social movements and the media that represents them comprises both of the media representation of movements on the one hand, and the media strategies employed by movements on the other. A third possible approach is to connect the two and look at the interactions connecting the two sides. This relationship has been affected by the emergence of social networking sites (SNS) that have a transformative effect on both actors. However, the extent and direction of these changes needs to be investigated. Empirical case studies that focus on newly enabled forms of social movements can contribute to these debates in an analytically fruitful way. Therefore in our study, we use the case of Migration Aid, a Hungarian Facebook-based grassroots relief organization that gained prominence during the refugee crisis that unfolded in Hungary in 2015. Migration Aid formed without the use of traditional mobilizational agents, and that took over roles traditionally occupied by formal NGOs or the state. Analyzing different movement strategies towards the media - we find evidence that while effectively combining these strategies, SNSs also create affordances for movements to shift their strategy towards creating alternatives, their own micromedia. Beyond the practical significance of this – the ability to disseminate alternative information independently from traditional media – it also allowed the group to frame the issue in their own terms and to replace vertical modes of communication with horizontal ones. The creation of micromedia also shifts the relationship between social movements and the media away from an asymmetrical and towards a more symbiotic co-existence. We provide four central factors – project identity, the mobilization potential of SNSs, the disruptiveness of the event and selectivity in the construction of social knowledge – that explain this shift. Finally, we look at the specific processes that contribute to the creation of the movement’s own micromedia. We posit that these processes were made possible by the rhizomatic structure of the group and a function of SNSs we coin the Social Information Thermostat function. We conclude our study by positioning our findings in relation with the broader context.

Keywords: Social Movements, social networking sites, micromedia, media strategies

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7 Political Empowerment of Japanese Women: Roles and Strategies of Social Movements and Feminist Groups

Authors: Soliman Rosemary


Despite the widespread movements towards democratization in most countries, women are still largely underrepresented at most levels of governments, especially in ministerial and other executive bodies. This paper is going to focus on the status quo of women political marginalization in Japan and the role social movements, feminist groups and campaigns play in raising the number of female politicians in administrative decision making process. The paper will raise some Japanese feminist groups such as ‘WIN WIN’ and ‘Q no Kai’ and other feminist groups as case studies. The study will help in furthering the understanding of women political empowerment in Japan and the strategies of contemporary social movements in raising the awareness of the importance of gender quota in the electoral system to be able to place new items on the political agenda that reflect and address women's gender-specific concerns, values and experiences, and providing new perspectives on mainstream political issues.

Keywords: Social Movements, Feminist, quota, political empowerment

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6 An Epistemological Approach of the Social Movements Studies in Cali (Colombia) between 2002 and 2016

Authors: Faride Crespo Razeg, Beatriz Eugenia Rivera Pedroza


While Colombian’s society has changed, the way that Colombian’s civil society participates has changed too. Thus, the social movements as a form of participation should be research to understand as the society structure as the groups’ interactions. In fact, in the last decades, the social movements in Colombia have been transformed in three categories: actors, spaces, and demands. For this reason, it is important to know from what perspectives have been researched this topic, allowing to recognize an epistemological and ontological reflections of it. The goal of this research has been characterizing the social movements of Cali – Colombia between 2002 and 2016. Cali is the southwest largest Colombian city; for this reason, it could be considered as a representative data for the social dynamic of the region. Qualitative methods as documental analysis have been used, in order to know the way that the research on social movements has been done. Thus taking into account this methodological technique, it has been found the goals that are present in most of the studies, which represents what are the main concerns around this topic. Besides, the methodology more used, to understand the way that the data was collected, its problems and its advantages. Finally, the ontological and epistemological reflections are important to understand which have been the theory and conceptual approach of the studies and how its have been contextualized to Cali, taking into account its own history.

Keywords: Civil Society, Social Movements, collective actions, forms of participation

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5 The Art of Resilience in the Case of Skopje

Authors: Kristina Nikolovska


Social movements have become common in the Post Yugoslav cities. Consequently, the wave of activism has been considerably present in Skopje. Starting from 2009 the activist wave in Skopje emerged with the notion of the city. Diversity of initiatives appeared in the city in order to defend places that have been contested by the urban development project SK2014. The activist wave diffused into many different initiatives and diversity of issues. The result was unification in one massive movement in 2016, called 'The Colourful Revolution'. The paper explores the scope of activism in Skopje, with taking into consideration the influence of the spatial transformation, the project SK2014. Moreover, it examines the processes of spatiality into shaping the contention in Skopje, focusing on interdisciplinary and comprehensive approaches. Except the diversity of theoretical framework mainly founded on contentious politics theory and space elaboration from different perspectives, the study is founded on field work based on conducted interviews. Using an interdisciplinary approach and focusing on three main dimensions, the research contributes to understand the dynamics of the activist wave and importance of spatial processes in the creation of the contention in Skopje. Moreover, it elaborates the characteristics, possible effects, and reflections of the cycles of protests in Skopje. The main results of the research showed that dynamics of space is important in the creation of the activist wave in Skopje, moreover space context can give explanation about how opportunities diffuse and transformative power is created. The study contributed into deeper understanding of the importance of spatiality in contentious politics, it showed that in general contentions politics can benefit from deeper analyses of place specificity. Finally, the thesis opposes the traditional linear understanding of social movements, and proposes more dynamic, comprehensive, and sensitive elaboration.

Keywords: Space, Social Movements, place, contentious politics, Skopje, SK2014

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4 Social Movements of Central-Eastern Europe: Examining Trends of Cooperation and Antagonism by Using Big Data

Authors: Reka Zsuzsanna Mathe


The globalization and the Europeanization have significantly contributed to a change in the role of the nation-states. The global economic crisis, the climate changes, and the recent refugee crisis, are just a few among many challenges that cannot be effectively addressed by the traditional role of the nation-states. One of the main roles of the states is to solve collective action problems, however due to their changing roles; apparently this is getting more and more difficult. Depending on political culture, collective action problems are solved either through cooperation or conflict. The political culture of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries is marked by low civic participation and by a weak civil society. In this type of culture collective action problems are likely to be induced through conflict, rather than the democratic process of dialogue and any type of social change is probably to be introduced by social movements. Several studies have been conducted on the social movements of the CEE countries, yet, it is still not clear if the most significant social movements of the region tend to choose rather the cooperative or the conflictual way as action strategy. This study differentiates between a national and a European action field, having different social orders. The actors of the two fields are the broadly understood civil society members, conceptualized as social movements. This research tries to answer the following questions: a) What are the norms that best characterize the CEE countries’ social order? b) What type of actors would prefer a change and in which areas? c) Is there a significant difference between the main actors active in the national versus the European field? The main hypotheses are that there are conflicting norms defining the national and the European action field, and there is a significant difference between the action strategies adopted by social movements acting in the two different fields. In mapping the social order, the study uses data provided by the European Social Survey. Big data of the Global Data on Events, Location and Tone (GDELT) database offers information regarding the main social movements and their preferred type of action. The unit of the analysis is the so called ‘Visegrad 4’ countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary and the research uses data starting from 2005 (after the European accession of these four countries) until May, 2017. According to the data, the main hypotheses were confirmed.

Keywords: Civil Society, Big Data, Social Movements, Central and Eastern Europe, GDELT

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3 Impact of Social Media on the Functioning of the Indian Government: A Critical Analysis

Authors: Priya Sepaha


Social media has loomed as the most effective tool in recent times to flag the causes, contents, opinions and direction of any social movement and has demonstrated that it will have a far-reaching effect on government as well. This study focuses on India which has emerged as the fastest growing community on social media. Social movement activists, in particular, have extensively utilized the power of digital social media to streamline the effectiveness of social protest on a particular issue through extensive successful mass mobilizations. This research analyses the role and impact of social media as a power to catalyze the social movements in India and further seeks to describe how certain social movements are resisted, subverted, co-opted and/or deployed by social media. The impact assessment study has been made with the help of cases, policies and some social movement which India has witnessed the assertion of numerous social issues perturbing the public which eventually paved the way for remarkable judicial decisions. The paper concludes with the observations that despite its pros and cons, the impacts of social media on the functioning of the Indian Government have demonstrated that it has already become an indispensable tool in the hands of social media-suave Indians who are committed to bring about a desired change.

Keywords: Social Media, Government, Law, Social Movements, Impact

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2 Fighting for Human Rights: DNA, Hansen's Disease and Separated Children in Brazil

Authors: Glaucia Maricato


Our research deals with specific use of DNA tests in Brazil – aimed at financial reparation for the institutionalized and otherwise scattered offspring of leprosy patients who, from the 1920s up through the 1980s, were subjected to compulsory internment in the 'hospital-colonies', specialized in the containment of Hansen’s disease. Through a social movement, the ex-patients themselves gained the right, in 2007, to financial compensations. At the moment, the movement is seeking reparation for the (now adult) children of these people as well. Many of these children grew up in orphanages, in adopted families, or do not have official documents to prove their family belonging. In 2011, a team of Brazilian geneticists had volunteered their services, applying DNA tests in order to ascertain the connection of certain individuals to an ex-internee of the leprosarium. We have accompanied the activities in four different ex-colonies in order to understand how the DNA test was being signified by those being tested, and how the test fit into already existent notions of family. Inspired in the writings of scholars such as Sheila Jasanoff and Helena Machado, we examine the possibility of a 'geneticization of family ties' when people are obliged to back their claim for human rights by producing legal proof based on blood tests. However, in like fashion to other ethnographic studies on this theme, we encountered among tested adults a number of creative strategies that allow for the co-existence of the idea of 'scientifically-based' blood ties alongside other more traditional ways of signifying kinship.

Keywords: Human Rights, Social Movements, DNA tests, Hansen's disease

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1 Nuclear Resistance Movements: Case Study of India

Authors: Shivani Yadav


The paper illustrates dynamics of nuclear resistance movements in India and how peoples’ power rises in response to subversion of justice and suppression of human rights. The need for democratizing nuclear policy runs implicit through the demands of the people protesting against nuclear programmes. The paper analyses the rationale behind developing nuclear energy according to the mainstream development model adopted by the state. Whether the prevalent nuclear discourse includes people’s ambitions and addresses local concerns or not is discussed. Primarily, the nuclear movements across India comprise of two types of actors i.e. the local population as well as the urban interlocutors. The first type of actor is the local population comprising of the people who are residing in the vicinity of the nuclear site and are affected by its construction, presence and operation. They have very immediate concerns against nuclear energy projects but also have an ideological stand against producing nuclear energy. The other types of actors are the urban interlocutors, who are the intellectuals and nuclear activists who have a principled stand against nuclear energy and help to aggregate the aims and goals of the movement on various platforms. The paper focuses on the nuclear resistance movements at five sites in India- Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu), Jaitapur (Maharashtra), Haripur (West Bengal), Mithivirdi (Gujrat) and Gorakhpur (Haryana). The origin, development, role of major actors and mass media coverage of all these movements are discussed in depth. Major observations from the Indian case include: first, nuclear policy discussions in India are confined to elite circles; secondly, concepts like national security and national interest are used to suppress dissent against mainstream policies; and thirdly, India’s energy policies focus on economic concerns while ignoring the human implications of such policies. In conclusion, the paper observes that the anti-nuclear movements question not just the feasibility of nuclear power but also its exclusionary nature when it comes to people’s participation in policy making, endangering the ecology, violation of human rights, etc. The character of these protests is non-violent with an aim to produce more inclusive policy debates and democratic dialogues.

Keywords: Social Movements, anti-nuclear movements, Koodankulam nuclear power plant, non-violent resistance, nuclear resistance movements

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