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Harnessing Technology for Social Good - CEU's Available

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School of Social Work
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Feb 10, 2022   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
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Can Marginalized Groups Use Social Media to Effect Political Change?
February 10, 2022 – 1-2 p.m. CST
Dr. Emmanuelle Richez, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada


Over the last decade, more and more marginalized groups have used social media to call attention to issues that matter to them, to gain popular support, and to establish a dialogue with political elites. Although many studies focus on how online mobilisation impacts marginalized groups, little scholarship exists that tries to measure the political change brought about by their cyber engagement. Using the Indigenous-led Idle No More movement at the federal level in Canada as a case-study, the presentation will examine whether marginalized groups can use social media to effect political change. It will show that, ultimately, the Idle No More online protests increased the national salience of Indigenous issues temporarily, but without significantly influencing policy outcomes in that area.

Dr. Emmanuelle Richez is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Her research focuses on the different avenues through which ethno-cultural minorities can have their rights recognized and enforced. As such, she studies the potential of social media and judicial review for rights expansion. Her articles have appeared, among others, in Social Media+ SocietyInformation, Communication & Society, and the Canadian Journal of Political Science. She is a research affiliate of the Centre d’analyse politique – Constitution Fédéralisme at the Université du Québec à Montréal as well as of the Courts & Politics Research Group of South-Western Ontario. She serves as a federally-appointed member of the Official Languages Rights Expert Panel of the Court Challenges Program of Canada. She holds a PhD in political science from McGill University.

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