The Revolution That Wasn’t; How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives
Time & Location
About The Event
The internet has been hailed as a leveling force that is reshaping activism. From the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, digital activism seemed cheap, fast, and open to all. Now this celebratory narrative finds itself competing with an increasingly sinister story as platforms like Facebook and Twitter—once the darlings of digital democracy—are on the defensive for their role in promoting fake news. While hashtag activism captures headlines, conservative digital activism is proving more effective on the ground.
The Revolution That Wasn’t identifies the reasons behind this previously undiagnosed digital-activism gap. Large hierarchical political organizations with professional staff can amplify their digital impact, while horizontally organized volunteer groups tend to be less effective at translating online goodwill into meaningful action. Not only does technology fail to level the playing field, it tilts it further, so that only the most sophisticated and well-funded players can compete.
Jen Schradie is a sociologist and an Assistant Professor at the Observatoire sociologique du changement at Sciences Po Paris. A Toulouse resident and former Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, she received a master’s from the Harvard Kennedy School and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her book by Harvard University Press, The Revolution That Wasn’t; How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives, will be out in the spring.
Jen’s work has been featured on CNN and the BBC and in The New Yorker, Washington Post, Time, Daily Beast, and Buzzfeed, among other media. She was awarded the Public Sociology Alumni Prize at University of California, Berkeley and has directed six documentary films.
**You are welcome to join us after the talk for a dinner at Saveurs Bio, 22 Rue Maurice Fonvieille. Buffet starts at 6,90 euros and menu at 20,50.