Social Media and Revolution: The Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement as Seen through Three Information Studies Paradigms

  • Skinner J
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Using three Information Studies paradigms--the physical metaphor, cognitive metaphor, and social informatics--this paper discusses how researchers might approach the study of social media and revolution. Drawing from the Arab Spring and Occupy movements, with specific examples from Occupy Oakland, it provides potential research questions and methods that would be appropriate within each framework. It concludes by reminding readers that each paradigm is a tool that can be used to view a subject from a certain perspective, and that they should be chosen and combined based on the research topic and research questions. This approach allows us to envision the paradigms as lying along a spectrum rather than existing as discrete points that cannot be synthesized.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Arab Spring
  • Occupy Oakland
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • cognitive paradigm
  • paradigms
  • physical paradigm
  • protest
  • research methods
  • social informatics
  • social media

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  • Julia Skinner

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