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A modern myth of grassroot communication : A critical perspective on social media use in land conflicts in Cambodia.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Social media is a collective name for the communication channels that allow users to communicate directly with each other in real time through text, image or sound. This study sets out to describe, analyze and draw conclusions on the use of social media in land conflicts in Cambodia. Experts debate on the importance of social media in social change, and aid institutions encourage social media presence for grass root organizations. With this study we want to add a grass root perspective from a development context, trying to see how the communication and information work with social media actually works. We decided to focus on social media’s agenda setting, advocacy and mobilizational possibilities, and interviewed eight organizations, three journalists/bloggers and one newspaper editor to get a broad perspective of social media’s usage in land conflicts, and we also conducted a small case study on the land conflict Boeung Kak lake’s presence on Youtube. The results showed that the organizations were using social media in many different ways, and on different levels in their communications work. We could however not see any clear interlinkage between the usage of social media and a success in neither agenda setting, social mobilization nor advocacy work; even though there are success stories we could not see consistent patterns in them. Our conclusion is therefore that a more objective and rational picture of social media is needed, that acknowledges the potentials but also shows the obstacles. Our hope is that this study can give a more balanced approach to social media’s place in developing countries in general and Cambodia in particular, helping actors to understand the different factors that need to be addressed to make it a successful tool of communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 56 p.
Keyword [en]
Social media, land conflicts, Cambodia, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, blog, development communication, Boeung Kak Lake, social change
Keyword [sv]
sociala medier. landkonflikter, Kambodja, bloggar, utvecklingskommunikation
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-20964OAI: diva2:542542
Subject / course
Media and Communications Science
Educational program
Public Relations and Communication Programme with Specialization in Peace Studies & Development Work, 180 credits
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-09-04 Created: 2012-08-01 Last updated: 2012-09-04Bibliographically approved

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