Extending the local: Activist types and forms of social media use in an case of anti-mining struggle
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
As political activists increasingly use social media in local protests, scholars must redirect attention from large-scale campaigns to scrutinize the ways in which geographically confined actors use social media to engage in protests. This paper analyses how a 2013 anti-mining campaign in Kallak, Sweden, combined on-site resistance with social media strategies via Facebook-pages. The study examines which activist roles and forms of social media use that emerged and aims to explore what larger practical and theoretical implications one can derive from this specific case of place-based struggles. Results show that three typologically distinct activist roles emerged during the protests: local activists, digital movement intellectuals and digital distributors. These different types of actors were involved in four different forms of social media use: mobilization, construction of the physical space, extension of the local and augmentation of local and translocal bonds. Based on our findings, we argue that the coming together of these different activist roles and the different uses of social media added a translocal dimension to the peripheral and physically remote political conflict in Kallak. Media users were able to extend a locally and physically situated protest by linking it to a global contentious issue such as the mining boom and its consequences for indigenous populations.
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114438OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-114438DiVA: diva2:895424