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Chapter 4

ANTH 3101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Hashtag Activism, Ethnography, Ingroups And Outgroups


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 3101
Professor
April Bass
Chapter
4

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#Ferguson: Digital Protest, hashtag ethnography, and the racial
politics of social media in the United States [Bonilla and Rosa]
ANTH 3101, Spring 2019
Abstract
How and why social media platforms have become powerful sites for documenting and
challenging episodes of police brutality and the misrepresentation of racialized bodies in
mainstream media
Hashtag activism can forge a shared political temporality
How social media platforms can provide strategic outlets for contesting and reimagining
the materiality of racialized bodies
Ferguson, Missouri - Michael Brown
Quickly went viral across social media
By the end of the month, #Ferguson had appeared more than 8 million times on Twitter
Increased use and availability of technologies has provided marginalized populations with
new tools for documenting police brutality and misrepresentations of racialized bodies
Distinguish town of Ferguson from #Ferguson
Hashtags locate texts within a specific conversation, allowing for their quick retrieval
while also marking texts as being about a specific topic
Range of uses of $Ferguson demonstrates importance of considering perspective
and function in analyzing intertextual links between tweets
Frame #Ferguson as a kind of mediatized place
Can also have a distorting effect
Reorient social media ethnography on a focus on individual experiences, practices, and
socialitities
Enduring digital divide within US, 22% of AA on Twitter and 16% whites
Twitter affords a unique platform for collectively identifying, articulating, and contesting
racial injustices from the in-group perspectives of racialized populations
Hashtags are entry points into larger and more complex worlds
The whole world is tweeting
Social movements have long used media and technology to disseminate, escalate, and
enlarge the scope of their struggles
Allowed a message to get out, called global attention to a small corner of the world, and
attempted to bring visibility and accountability to repressive forces
Twitter allows you to look through manifold windows at once
Twitter allows users who are territorially displaced to feel like they are united across both
space and time
Users on Twitter felt like they were participating in #Ferguson
Hashtag activism versus "real" activism
Some suggest that the virality and ephemerality of social media can only ever produce
fleeting "nanostories"
Taking selfies can become politically meaningful in the context of racialized bodies
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