Arnova civic action disability bricout

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This is part of the ARNOVA panel on social media and social networking led by Dr. Tom Bryer

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Arnova civic action disability bricout

  1. 1. ARNOVA  November19, 2010 Social Media and Citizens with Disabilities John C. Bricout 1
  2. 2. Overview • Opportunities for activism in the online and offline civic spheres • Risk profile of social media for undermining civic activism • Activism-positive future scenarios 2
  3. 3. Opportunities • Average Facebook user connected to 80 community pages, groups or events • 150M Facebook users access mobile devices/month • Demographics – Facebook 55% female, 12% 50+, 53% college+ – LinkedIn 48% female, 32% 50+, 75% college+ • User Base – Facebook: +/- 320M Users; w/620M groups – LinkedIn: +/- 75M Users; w/625K groups (Baker, Bricout, Coughlan, Pater, 2010) 3
  4. 4. Opportunities Facebook & LinkedIn Disability-focused Groups (2010 Study by Baker, et al., 2010) • Social media platform: Facebook & LinkedIn (for comparison) chosen based on user base/activity • Search criteria: employment, aging, and disabled-focused online communities (groups) • keywords + >5 members • English-language groups 4
  5. 5. 5 LinkedIn Facebook Total hits (groups) 1458 3449 Total hits (valid groups) 343 190 Total hits (invalid) 1115 3259 % false hits 75.98% 91.79%
  6. 6. 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Advocacy Education Networking Outreach Services Disability-Focused GroupsNumberofGroups 6
  7. 7. 60% 5% 16% 7% 9% 3% Disability Group Breakdown Community / Participation Employment Healthcare / Wellness / Lifestyle Politics / Government / Civic Engagement Professional / Business Technology 7
  8. 8. 8 65%5% 17% 8% 4% 1% Facebook
  9. 9. 9 52% 6% 14% 7% 16% 5% LinkedIn
  10. 10. Opportunities • Social media build community • Community is the foundation for collective action • Social media also engage members in discussions of social goods, including health, employment, governance and indeed runs the gambit of participation in civil society 10
  11. 11. Opportunities • People with disabilities resemble other social media users in their interests • People with disabilities do not resemble other social media users in their means… • …meaning, an aspiration-achievement gap, the stuff of activism or inaction depending upon the risk profiles entailed by use of social media 11
  12. 12. Risk Profile Discriminatory Participation • Divide within disability civic activists – those disenfranchised by the digital divide whether by technology access barriers, usability challenges, income, ethnicity or income 12
  13. 13. Risk Profile Fragmentation of Effort • Social media partitioning – compartmentalization analogous to a division of civic activism labor as complexity of civic life engenders specialization 13
  14. 14. Risk Profile Competing Needs • Distributed activism approach running afoul of the displacement phenomenon as collective social media action crowds out other social media activities important to civil life causing backlash and undermining popular support 14
  15. 15. Risk Profile • Future scenarios that transcend – or resolve – negative tendencies in the structuring and process of social media activism, will ensure more effective efforts at civil or civic action by people with disabilities and other marginalized groups 15
  16. 16. Future Scenarios Creating Participatory Spaces for Action • People with disabilities create ‘third spaces’ online using blogs and social media platforms such as Facebook to engage the general population in dialogue about what are the proper targets and methods for civic activism Developing a Cooperative Marketplace for Action • Pluralism in the online ‘marketplace’ for civic action generates an environment in which interdependence, collaboration and joint goal-setting becomes the norm 16
  17. 17. Future Scenarios Parallel Expectations • Activism in the domain of social media is recursive in the offline domain Matched Drivers • Social innovations that drive profound changes in civic life are as likely to emerge from online social networking and social media as from offline activism 17
  18. 18. Conclusion • Social Media Activism – Social Good Linkages – Social media influence on civic activism is proportionate to its impact on setting the value on social goods • Social Activism – Disability Citizenship Links – For people with disabilities the trajectory of social media activism will be moderated by their citizenship status • Social Activism – Community Linkages – The adaptability of the larger community to new versions of active civic life in the social media context will determine the spillover into offline life 18
  19. 19. Questions 19

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