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ERIC Number: EJ1085334
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Shaping Student Activists: Discursive Sensemaking of Activism and Participation Research
Taha, Diane E.; Hastings, Sally O.; Minei, Elizabeth M.
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v15 n6 p1-15 Dec 2015
As social media becomes a more potent force in society, particularly for younger generations, the role in activism has been contested. This qualitative study examines 35 interviews with students regarding their perceptions of the use of social media in social change, their perceptions of activists, and their level of self-identification as an activist. Data suggest that students use media to engage in offline participation in activist causes because online interactions present a "safe" place to begin their involvement. Findings also point to the unified pejorative connotations of the term "activist", yet also demonstrate ways that students transform the negative stereotype of activists in a way that creates a more positive image. Most participants in the study were able to see sufficient positive characteristics in behaviors they associated with activism to prompt the students to identify themselves as "activists" or "aspiring activists". We offer 3 practical recommendations for teachers who seek to increase service learning vis a vis activism in their classrooms.
Descriptors: Activism, Participatory Research, Social Media, Qualitative Research, Student Attitudes, Social Change, Self Concept, Student Participation, Stereotypes, Service Learning, Student Motivation, Knowledge Level, College Students, Public Colleges, Semi Structured Interviews, Extracurricular Activities, Classification
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A