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    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Wilkins, D. J., Livingstone, A. G. and Levine, M. (2019), Whose tweets? The rhetorical functions of social media use in developing the Black Lives Matter movement. Br. J. Soc. Psychol., 58: 786-805. doi:10.1111/bjso.12318 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjso.12318 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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Whose tweets?: The rhetorical functions of social media use in developing the Black Lives Matter movement

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Whose tweets? The rhetorical functions of social media use in developing the Black Lives Matter movement. / Wilkins, D.J.; Livingstone, A.G.; Levine, M.

In: British Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 58, No. 4, 01.10.2019, p. 786-805.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

Wilkins, DJ, Livingstone, AG & Levine, M 2019, 'Whose tweets? The rhetorical functions of social media use in developing the Black Lives Matter movement', British Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 786-805. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12318

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Author

Wilkins, D.J. ; Livingstone, A.G. ; Levine, M. / Whose tweets? The rhetorical functions of social media use in developing the Black Lives Matter movement. In: British Journal of Social Psychology. 2019 ; Vol. 58, No. 4. pp. 786-805.

Bibtex

@article{e09aa71ff7c4480c9a44856c02b9a0c6,
title = "Whose tweets?: The rhetorical functions of social media use in developing the Black Lives Matter movement",
abstract = "Research on collective action frequently characterizes social media as a tool for mobilization. However, social media activity can fulfil a variety of different functions for social change. In particular, the rhetorical functions of social media use by social movements are not well understood. We address this shortfall by analysing the rhetorical functions of Twitter use during an early stage of the Black Lives Matter social movement. We examine how activists used Twitter to balance competing aims for social change, such as growing the movement beyond disadvantaged-group members, while preventing appropriation or dilution of their message by advantaged-group {\textquoteleft}allies{\textquoteright}. We find that although Twitter users promote different, and often competing, definitions of the issues that the movement represents, rhetorical strategies are used to advance inclusive definitions that focus on racism. When activists address alternative definitions of movement actors and issues, representations of Otherness are used to characterize the proponents of these definitions as in opposition to the movement. Finally, we find that one way of resolving the tension between growing the movement and promoting disadvantaged-group control is by using identity and technology resources to explicitly define (1) how different groups can be movement advocates, and (2) action strategies for social change.",
keywords = "ally activism, Black Lives Matter, collective action, political rhetoric, social movements, Twitter, article, dilution, human, identity, racism, social change, social media, tension",
author = "D.J. Wilkins and A.G. Livingstone and M. Levine",
note = "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Wilkins, D. J., Livingstone, A. G. and Levine, M. (2019), Whose tweets? The rhetorical functions of social media use in developing the Black Lives Matter movement. Br. J. Soc. Psychol., 58: 786-805. doi:10.1111/bjso.12318 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjso.12318 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.",
year = "2019",
month = oct,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/bjso.12318",
language = "English",
volume = "58",
pages = "786--805",
journal = "British Journal of Social Psychology",
issn = "0144-6665",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Whose tweets?

T2 - The rhetorical functions of social media use in developing the Black Lives Matter movement

AU - Wilkins, D.J.

AU - Livingstone, A.G.

AU - Levine, M.

N1 - This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Wilkins, D. J., Livingstone, A. G. and Levine, M. (2019), Whose tweets? The rhetorical functions of social media use in developing the Black Lives Matter movement. Br. J. Soc. Psychol., 58: 786-805. doi:10.1111/bjso.12318 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjso.12318 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

PY - 2019/10/1

Y1 - 2019/10/1

N2 - Research on collective action frequently characterizes social media as a tool for mobilization. However, social media activity can fulfil a variety of different functions for social change. In particular, the rhetorical functions of social media use by social movements are not well understood. We address this shortfall by analysing the rhetorical functions of Twitter use during an early stage of the Black Lives Matter social movement. We examine how activists used Twitter to balance competing aims for social change, such as growing the movement beyond disadvantaged-group members, while preventing appropriation or dilution of their message by advantaged-group ‘allies’. We find that although Twitter users promote different, and often competing, definitions of the issues that the movement represents, rhetorical strategies are used to advance inclusive definitions that focus on racism. When activists address alternative definitions of movement actors and issues, representations of Otherness are used to characterize the proponents of these definitions as in opposition to the movement. Finally, we find that one way of resolving the tension between growing the movement and promoting disadvantaged-group control is by using identity and technology resources to explicitly define (1) how different groups can be movement advocates, and (2) action strategies for social change.

AB - Research on collective action frequently characterizes social media as a tool for mobilization. However, social media activity can fulfil a variety of different functions for social change. In particular, the rhetorical functions of social media use by social movements are not well understood. We address this shortfall by analysing the rhetorical functions of Twitter use during an early stage of the Black Lives Matter social movement. We examine how activists used Twitter to balance competing aims for social change, such as growing the movement beyond disadvantaged-group members, while preventing appropriation or dilution of their message by advantaged-group ‘allies’. We find that although Twitter users promote different, and often competing, definitions of the issues that the movement represents, rhetorical strategies are used to advance inclusive definitions that focus on racism. When activists address alternative definitions of movement actors and issues, representations of Otherness are used to characterize the proponents of these definitions as in opposition to the movement. Finally, we find that one way of resolving the tension between growing the movement and promoting disadvantaged-group control is by using identity and technology resources to explicitly define (1) how different groups can be movement advocates, and (2) action strategies for social change.

KW - ally activism

KW - Black Lives Matter

KW - collective action

KW - political rhetoric

KW - social movements

KW - Twitter

KW - article

KW - dilution

KW - human

KW - identity

KW - racism

KW - social change

KW - social media

KW - tension

U2 - 10.1111/bjso.12318

DO - 10.1111/bjso.12318

M3 - Journal article

VL - 58

SP - 786

EP - 805

JO - British Journal of Social Psychology

JF - British Journal of Social Psychology

SN - 0144-6665

IS - 4

ER -