Deadline for Abstracts: March 31, 2020
Edited by Carmit Wiesslitz, PhD
The #MeToo movement has been mentioned in academic discourse as an effective online campaign that became widely spread and was covered extensively in the news media worldwide. When referring to this campaign, Internet researchers highlight the powerful role of social media platforms in activism in the digital age and many scholars talk about this campaign in this context. However, there is a very limited discourse about the fact that women are the leading figures behind this successful campaign or about their distinctive use of and related experience in the online public sphere. In fact, academic discourse has rarely put forward the topic of women activists and their use of social media. Why is it so important to place this issue at the focus of research? First of all, because the field of politics and extra-parliamentary politics is known as an extremely male-oriented/dominated sphere in which women are forced to struggle to successfully promote themselves and their agendas. Secondly, women’s organizations have unique features, specifically related to the way they run their organizations and operations, which often are more democratic and egalitarian. Thirdly, saliency and reliable representation in public discourse is a challenge, not only for women’s groups but also for all minority groups. The Internet may constitute an alternative, possibly more egalitarian, communications platform.
This leads us to the following questions; Does the Internet provides women activists with a new platform to voice their agenda? Is the Internet perceived and used as a tool of empowerment? The contribution of research on these questions is related not only to the Internet and new digital platforms, but also to its focus on women, an important minority group, and its acknowledgement of women’s activism in the virtual world.
This collection will hopefully open a window into the role and status of women’s groups that aspire to join forces to organize collective action using the Internet, and furthermore to gain an understanding of the discourse that women create on social media and other digital platforms. Hence, this book will present various case studies of women from around the world who use the Internet to facilitate social change on topics, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Women’s groups and social change organizations and their on-going online operations.
- Case studies of ad hoc campaigns and spontaneous viral collective action, such as the #MeToo campaign.
- Distinct dimensions of Internet activism, from organizing offline/online protests and mobilizing for collective action, to producing and distributing memes, videos, and podcasts.
- The Internet as a safe space: women’s discourse and online conversations of activists or non-activists (features, uses, and perceptions of value)
The book is intended to be multidisciplinary volume that embraces a broad range of disciplinary perspectives, including, but not limited to, media studies, civil society and democracy, social movements, alternative media, feminisms, Marxism/neo-Marxism, globalization, structural/post-structural, and others. Furthermore, this book may offer empirical multidisciplinary perspectives and a wide array of methodologies for researching digital activism using various online platforms and apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, What's Up App, and others.
Interested authors should send an abstract of 500 words, 3-5 references, and an up-to-date bio to Carmit Wiesslitz (email@example.com) no later than March 31, 2020, with “Women and activism in the digital age” in the subject line.
Acceptance notices will be sent by May 31, 2020
Full papers of 6,000 to 8,000 words (including all references) will be due November 30, 2020.
I intend to submit a proposal to Palgrave Macmillan (which already expressed its initial interest in this project and is awaiting the submission of a full proposal) after I have a confirmed table of contents and list of contributing authors.
About the editor: Carmit Wiesslitz, PhD, is the author of Internet Democracy and Social Change: The Case of Israel (2019), published by Lexington Books. Her research areas include civil society, democracy and the Internet, media and social change, alternative media, women's organizations and new media. She is a lecturer in the Department of Politics and Communications at Hadassah Academic College, Israel.