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IACM 2023

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New Media In Entrenched Intergroup Conflict: From Radicalization, Polarization and Disengagement To Empowerment, Voice, and Dialogue (S22)

Monday, 10 July 2023
3:30pm - 5:00pm

Aristotelis II

The past two decades have been characterized by a dramatic transition in which individuals, communities and interest groups have been moving away from traditional forms of political participation and activism. The advent of Web 2.0 and social media has been described as shifting the task of mobilization from formal organizations with stable structures to individuals and groups. In this context, new media has been somewhat optimistically seen as giving rise to new centers of power that enable a reconstructed social reality and provide symbolic resources through which conflicts are represented and perceived. These "micro-powers" are claimed to also play a role in mobilizing political participation and protest through supplying alternative channels of communication and mobilization. Social media sites have been described as enabling activists to meet others who share similar goals thus strengthening their collective identity through new media technology.

Against this backdrop of technological optimism, more recent research (as well as real life developments) emphasizes the negative implications of this shift – in which the internet and social media platforms serve as mechanisms for expressing hatred, dehumanization and delegitimization towards individuals and groups thus mobilizing alienation, polarization and violence. 

The papers in this panel discuss these different facets of new media in conflict while considering the extent to which (and in what ways)—in spite of this dark side—social media can still serve as a platform for building and sustaining intergroup solidarity and nonviolent social change.

Symposium Organizer and Discussant: Peter Coleman, Columbia University

TikTok_#Save_Sheikh_Jarrah: Strategies of activism and resistance to violence
Maya de Vries, Hebrew University
Gendered Stereotypes and Political Conflicts: The Use of Gender and Sexuality in Social Media to Racialized and Dehumanized the Other
Yossi David, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Israeli and Palestinian Women for Peace: Using a social media platform to promote peace
Yiftach Ron, Hebrew University
Camelia Suleiman, Michigan State University
Ifat Maoz, Hebrew University
Digital peacemaking in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Ronit Kampf, Hebrew University
Differentiating Public Shaming and Attacks on Social Media: Targeting Ingroups and Outgroups
Deborah Cai, Temple University
Colleen Tolan, Temple University


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