Monthly Archives: January 2017

Social media and the broadcasting of Indigenous discourse

My article with co-author Simon Lindgren, Prof of Sociology at Umeå University and social media expert, is now published online in the European Journal of Communication.

The article analyses what happens on social media (Twitter) when a local issue specific to a certain Indigenous group spreads out to a wider network of actors. We look closer at the process where emic (inside) discourses are enabled, through social media, to reach a broader audience and become part of translocal debates. In a case study of information sharing, network building and support on Twitter in relation to a series of Sámi anti-mining protests in 2013, we address questions about the dynamics, flows and process of Indigenous communication on Twitter. First, we analyse in what ways and to what extent the posts are used for inreach communication or outreach communication. Second, we analyse the role of tweets that contain links to web resources for broadcasting Indigenous concerns to a wider, more diverse audience. Finally, we assess how different types of actors interact in order to shape the circulation of content. Our analysis shows even though communication went beyond the core community, Sámi actors still appeared to own and control the discourse and agenda on the issue in social media. Obviously, online communities are not secluded communities. For geographically localized groups and for marginalized communities, the use of global social media does not only enable communication with actors in more distant groups and places; social media also makes visible common interests and goals on a global scale. The possibility of addressing multiple audiences at the same time increases the potential of reaching an audience outside one’s set of ‘followers’ or one’s tight-knit communities of like-minded people.