Social media conflict: platforms for racial vilification, or acts of provocation and citizenship?

Johns,A and McCosker, Anthony 2014, Social media conflict: platforms for racial vilification, or acts of provocation and citizenship?, Communication, politics and culture, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 44-54.

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Title Social media conflict: platforms for racial vilification, or acts of provocation and citizenship?
Author(s) Johns,AORCID iD for Johns,A
McCosker, Anthony
Journal name Communication, politics and culture
Volume number 47
Issue number 3
Start page 44
End page 54
Total pages 11
Publisher RMIT Publishing
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1836-0645
Summary Although racism remains an issue for social media sites such as YouTube, this focus often overshadows the site’s productive capacity to generate ‘agonistic publics’ from which expressions of cultural citizenship and solidarity might emerge. This paper examines these issues through two case studies: the recent proliferation of mobile phone video recordings of racist rants on public transport, and racist interactions surrounding the performance of a Maori ‘flash mob’ haka in New Zealand that was recorded and uploaded to YouTube. We contrast these incidents as they are played out primarily through social media, with the case of Australian Football League player Adam Goodes and the broadcast media reaction to a racial slur aimed against him by a crowd member during the AFL’s Indigenous Round. We discuss the prevalence of vitriolic exchange and racial bigotry, but also, and more importantly, the productive and equally aggressive defence of more inclusive and tolerant forms of cultural identification that play out across these different media forms. Drawing on theories of cultural citizenship along with the political theory of Chantal Mouffe, we point to the capacities of YouTube as ‘platform’, and to social media practices, in facilitating ground-up antiracism and generating dynamic, contested and confronting micropublics.
Language eng
Field of Research 200199 Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, RMIT Publishing
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
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