Reimagining political advocacy in the age of social media: insights from the Grassy Mountain Mine project

Nedeljakova, Katarina (2023) Reimagining political advocacy in the age of social media: insights from the Grassy Mountain Mine project. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The emergence of social media platforms as a major communication technology has resulted in the reimagining of political advocacy and mobilization, as well as our position in relation to these tools. Through a case study of the recently terminated Grassy Mountain Mine project in Alberta, this work explores the tensions and complexities of environmental political participation in online and physical space, focusing on the use of Facebook as a tool for expressing political interests and enabling collective action. A mixed methods approach was taken to investigate this objective, including a scoping social media analysis of 484 posts made on public Facebook groups related to coal mining and in-depth participant interviews. Within this case study, motivations for political engagement via social media often stem from deep emotional ties to the physical space at the center of the movement. Additionally, this study provides evidence that the digital infrastructure of Facebook plays a role in how political participation is enacted online. This thesis contributes to existing knowledge on how humans navigate political participation and conceptualize space. It can also serve as a useful document for governing bodies seeking to effectively utilize online platforms for public engagement, such as consultations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 16153
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 144-157)
Keywords: collective action, social movements, social media, online platforms, physical space, coal mining
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Date: September 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Social media--Political aspects--Alberta; Online social networks--Case studies; Grassy Mountain Mine Project (Alberta)--Environmental aspects; Metaverse--Alberta; Political participation--Environmental aspects--Alberta

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