The Revolution Might Be Tweeted: Digital Social Media, Contentious Politics and the Wendy Davis Filibuster
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis explores how digital tools and practices affect social and political contestations in the social media age. Through the use of an extended case study, I incorporate geographical and feminist understandings of space, activism, and relationships between technology and society to demonstrate how social media practices have the potential for social and political change, and open up channels of interplay between informal and formal political practices. Specifically, I examine digital practices surrounding the filibuster of the restrictive abortion bill SB 5 by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. I argue that digital participants create and share inventive forms of contestations that produce counter-discourses and potentially re-frame contentious issues. These practices help cohere communities of resistance through a shared visual and textual language, which offers participants a way to share their opinions and protests. These communities raise awareness of issues, increasing visibility and holding formal political actors accountable. Examples of the social and political contestations produced by activist communities, specifically regarding gender discourses, are discussed, as well as how Davis became a symbol around which participants could rally.
- Geography