Activism or Slacktivism? The Potential and Pitfalls of Social Media in Contemporary Student Activism

  title={Activism or Slacktivism? The Potential and Pitfalls of Social Media in Contemporary Student Activism},
  author={Nolan L. Cabrera and Cheryl E. Matias and Roberto Montoya},
  journal={Journal of Diversity in Higher Education},
The emergence of social media has greatly influenced 21st-century student activism. It has also given rise to the birth of “slacktivism,” an online form of self-aggrandizing, politically ineffective activism. This theoretical article delves into the conceptualizations of what constitutes student activism versus slacktivism in a digital age. While there are distinctions between the 2, we highlight how most discussions of activism describe how activism is done as opposed to what it is. Within… Expand
Rallying Over Balloting: The Origins of Millennial Activism
Activism by U.S. millennials, such as the March for Our Lives, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter, has reversed a national decline in civic engagement. Much of the scholarship has focused on how, notExpand
Social activism and ‘spaces of autonomy’ in the context of Japan: an analysis of the student movement known as SEALDs
ABSTRACT In recent decades Japanese university students have been characterised as politically apathetic and disinterested in organising for grassroots change. Despite a variety of socio-contextualExpand
Rise and Fall of Digital Activism in Mexico From 2000-2019
Political activism is more alive than ever. After the scandal of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, online social media platforms restricted the distribution of content to privacy laws. But populismExpand
Fighting for Their Future: An Exploratory Study of Online Community Building in the Youth Climate Change Movement
While offline iterations of the climate activism movement have spanned decades, today online involvement of youth through social media platforms has transformed the landscape of this social movement.Expand
Online Activism and Real Life Environmentalism
Past and present human activities have created and accelerated an array of environmental catastrophes and various systems in the environment remain under threat as a result of human behavior. InExpand
The Influence of Social Media on Political Efficacy and Political Participation: A Study on Youth of Himachal Pradesh
Ever since the invention of the transistor in the mid 20 century the information and communication technologies having been growing at a rapid pace, both in terms of their capabilities andExpand
Activism and College Student Mental Health
Activism on college campuses in the United States is a long-standing phenomenon rooted in the counterculture movements of the 1960s. Today, local, regional, and national issues and sociopoliticalExpand
An Online Occupation of the University Hashtag: Exploring How Student Activists Use Social Media to Engage in Protest
Abstract Today’s student activists leverage social media to bring campus-based protests to a wider audience and create a counterspace for discussing racism on campus. In this article, the authorsExpand
Civic learning for dissent: College students’ activist orientation, campus climates, and higher education in the American democracy
There are two important premises at the core of the American democracy: inclusion and dissent. Focusing on the premise of democratic dissent, the overarching goal of this study is understanding howExpand
Towards a conceptualization of young people's political engagement: a qualitative focus group study
Disenchantment with politics and low electoral turnout does not mean young people are not engaged with politics. However, our understanding of what being ‘politically engaged’ entails is somewhatExpand


Adding Slacktivism to the Activist's Toolkit: Advocacy Group Perceptions of the Benefits and Drawbacks of Slacktivism
In light of a growing interest in the utility of digital activism, this study examines the extent to which advocacy groups perceive slacktivism as an effective tool for advancing activism efforts andExpand
Whither slacktivism? Political engagement and social media use in the 2013 Czech Parliamentary elections
This article examines the relationship between online political expression and offline forms of political participation in the context of the 2013 Czech Parliamentary elections. It draws on theExpand
Freedom's Web: Student Activism in an Age of Cultural Diversity
From the Mills College strike of 1990 to the Chicano Studies movement at UCLA, from African-American student unrest at Rutgers University in 1995 to student protest in California against the passageExpand
The ironic impact of activists: Negative stereotypes reduce social change influence
Despite recognizing the need for social change in areas such as social equality and environmental protection, individuals often avoid supporting such change. Researchers have previously attempted toExpand
Online Political Participation: Slacktivism or Efficiency Increased Activism? Evidence from the Brazilian Ficha Limpa Campaign
Communication via the Internet and online social networking sites (SNS) has come to form an inherent part of most political campaigns today. Yet the potential of online activism to bring aboutExpand
Political activities on the Internet: Slacktivism or political participation by other means?
Although it is not possible to determine a consistent impact of Internet campaigns on real-life decisions, there is no evidence of the substitution thesis, which means that if anything, the Internet has a positive impact on off-line mobilization. Expand
Identity, Social Activism, and the Pursuit of Higher Education: The Journey Stories of Undocumented and Unafraid Community Activists by Susana M. Muñoz
This book explores how undocumented students make meaning of the intersection between their immigration status and their social identities as community activists under historical and current contextsExpand
Does slacktivism hurt activism?: the effects of moral balancing and consistency in online activism
An online experiment to test if signing or not signing an online petition increased or decreased subsequent contribution to a charity found that participants who signed the online petition were significantly more likely to donate money to a related charity, demonstrating a consistency effect. Expand
Online Political Mobilization from the Advocacy Group's Perspective: Looking Beyond Clicktivism
Academic observers and public intellectuals frequently criticize mass email action alerts as “slacktivism” or “clicktivism,” arguing that the lowered transaction costs of the medium produce a novelExpand
Faculty and Staff Partnering With Student Activists: Unexplored Terrains of Interaction and Development
In this study, we build on two recent works (Gaston-Gayles, Wolf-Wendel; Tuttle, Twombley, and Ward, 2004; Slocum & Rhoads, 2008) that examine faculty and staff work with student activists, butExpand