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The Use of Facebook by Georgian Queer Activists: Compromised Empowerment and New Challenges
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In Georgia, a country with a post-soviet past and a long path of geopolitical struggles that is transitioning into a liberal democracy, queer people remain as one of the most oppressed groups of the society. Despite the hostile environment, there are several openly queer activists who fight against the oppression on a daily basis. One of the battlegrounds for those fights has become Facebook, the social networking site that created another space for informational exchange and meaning construction during the interaction. The purpose of this research is to explore the use of Facebook by Georgian queer activists for their individual and community empowerment. The study deals with the concept of empowerment as the primary theoretical framework from the perspective of community phycology. With the help of a one-month netnographic observation of 10 queer activists on Facebook and interviews conducted with them, the study demonstrates the sense of empowerment that queer activists obtain through their use of Facebook. According to the activists’ accounts, Facebook increased possibilities for them to receive more information more easily and quickly, to express their opinions, negotiate their identities, engage in acts of resistance, organize the community and mobilize community members and their supporters. However, the use of Facebook is not a singlehanded process, as it has created new challenges that activists have to deal with, along with the fellow community members. Some of those challenges include increased cyberbullying, “slacktivism” (Morozov, 2011), issues of digital security and better-organized hate groups. The research adopts a phenomenological approach to explore the self-perceptions of the queer activists’ experiences, and it creates a basis for further research about studying the actual effects of Facebook on queer resistance in Georgia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 80
Keywords [en]
Empowerment, ICTs, Queer, Activism, Community Psychology, Facebook
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-355738OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-355738DiVA, id: diva2:1230649
Subject / course
Digital Media
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-07-04 Created: 2018-07-04 Last updated: 2018-07-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
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