Self-writing a movement and contesting indigeneity: being an Aboriginal activist on social media

Petray, Theresa Lynn (2013) Self-writing a movement and contesting indigeneity: being an Aboriginal activist on social media. Global Media Journal: Australian Edition, 7 (1). pp. 1-20.

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Abstract

Social media offer the potential to creatively rethink and amend social practices. Because everyone (that is, those with access) can write themselves into being, they can determine the way their identity is outwardly demonstrated. This potential is especially interesting for activists – the construction of salient social movement identities is a key component of movement strength. Identity though, is not a unitary thing and activists may identify with a number of causes and issues. Using online means, the process of identification can be complicated, and this can lead to ambiguity. Activists are also limited by the space provided on their chosen platform/s, their ability to reach an audience, and the attention span of that audience. This paper focuses specifically on the use of social media by Aboriginal activists in Australia. Aboriginal activists embrace the ambiguity offered by social media to challenge mainstream imagery and self-write alternative understandings about what it means to be Indigenous. The agency of Aboriginal activists is both enabled and restricted by the social media they use, and social media allow for the continuation, expansion, and transformation of various 'traditions', from traditional language to traditional activism.

Item ID: 28188
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1835-2340
Keywords: self-writing, social media, Aboriginal, social movement, activism, Indigenous
Funders: JCU Rising Star Award
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2013 04:16
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change @ 60%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169902 Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society @ 40%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940201 Civics and Citizenship @ 30%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 70%
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