L01 - Indigeneity, Immigration, and Media Messaging: Assessing Framing, Social Media, and Digital Democracy
Date: Jun 4 | Time: 08:45am to 10:15am | Location: EOSM 135
Chair/Président/Présidente : Steve White (Carleton University)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Steve White (Carleton University)
Indigenous Movements, Social Media and Power: Whose Voices do We Hear?: Pascal Lupien (Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta), Adriana Rincón Villegas (University of Massachusetts Boston), Andrés Leonardo Lalama Vargas (University of Calgary)
Abstract: Indigenous remain among the most marginalized population groups in the Western Hemisphere. In Latin America, they have engaged in diverse forms of collective action with varying degrees of success. Previous research has studied the “traditional” social movement strategies used by some of the more successful groups. We know relatively little, however, about the impact of the rise of online activism on the capacity of Indigenous movements to engage in politics. Across the Americas, business and political elites have long used their position to mediate the circulation of ideas, while ignoring or misrepresenting Indigenous culture, traditions and practices. In theory at least, the explosion of social media tools could strengthen democracy by allowing Indigenous actors to represent themselves according to their own worldview. But in which direction are social media tools really shifting the balance of power? In line with this year’s this theme of diversity and inclusion, this paper will contribute to the gaps in our knowledge by examining Indigenous voices in the online world. Grounded in communication and media theory, our study uses discourse analysis, and Internet-based quantitative and qualitative content analysis to determine the extent to which Indigenous voices are heard in cyberspace. Focusing on key policy areas of interest to Indigenous movements, and in collaboration with local Indigenous leaders, we ask: who controls the interpretive schemes in the online environment, who can make visible their interpretive schemes and by what means? and from what axiological and ideological frameworks do these agents formulate their opinions?
Who [Deserves] What, When, and How: Media Messaging Effects on Support for Redistribution in Canada: Rebecca Wallace (Queen's University)
Abstract: Research on the “race-coding” of welfare has long suggested that the proportion and quality of news coverage on poverty that features racial minorities can affect public opinion toward social policies among the general public. Most studies in this field have extrapolated on correlational evidence and do not provide strong causal explanations of the media’s impact on perceptions of deservingness. My project aims to address these larger questions about media effects on public attitudes in Canada, asking: 1) Does the media trigger or merely reflect race-biased attitudes toward targeted and general redistribution in Canada? 2) Does the type of frame affect perceptions of benefactors’ deservingness? 3) Does the ethnic or racial identity of the perceived benefactor in a news story – be it an immigrant, an Indigenous person, or a white Canadian – alter the media’s effects on attitudes toward targeted and general redistribution? The paper will examine these questions using data from an original online experiment fielded in August-October 2018. Preliminary data suggest that there is a link between media exposure and perceptions of deservingness. There appear to be marked differences in the media’s effects on attitudes toward social assistance recipients depending on whether the storyline depicts recipients as lacking willpower versus contributing to the economy. The type of frame also appears to have a stronger effect when the story focuses on an Indigenous or immigrant benefactor, activating deeply rooted stereotypes that diminish support particularly for Indigenous and immigrant recipients of welfare.
Digital Democracy and Self-Determination: Lessons from First Nations in Canada: Liam Midzain-Gobin (McMaster University), Brian Budd (University of Guelph), Chelsea Gabel (McMaster University), Nicole Goodman (Brock University)
Abstract: Digital technology is oftentimes associated with new and novel forms of politics, be that in the form of online organizing, or increased participation from all corners of the globe. This paper instead looks to the way in which digital technology has been deployed in community-level First Nations elections and referendums in Canada, with an aim of improving community capacity. The paper identifies a tension within communities between those who see this as a way to increase voter participation, improve administrative capacity and support the movement toward self-determination, and those see the technology as supporting historically imposed systems colonial governance and administration. Drawing on case studies of First Nations’ experiences with internet voting across Canada, this paper then uses the concept of ‘digital self-determination’ to explore this tension, and to offer insights regarding how Internet voting and other tools of electoral modernization can respond to critiques of self-government initiatives and a lack of cultural appropriateness to serve the needs of First Nations and support self-determination within communities.