Can Social Media News Encourage Activism? The Impact of Discrimination News Frames on College Students’ Activism Intentions

Marisa A. Smith, Lillie D. Williamson, Cabral A. Bigman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The marginalization of African Americans is a pervasive issue in American society. As African Americans are left on the fringes of economic, social, and political resources, social media news offers the potential for motivating action that combats the institutional policies contributing to societal disparities. Utilizing the lens of the Anger Activism Model (AAM), this experiment recruited undergraduate participants (N = 198) and tested the effects of implicit and explicit discrimination news frames on activism intentions. The findings indicate that news frames directly impact reported levels of activism intentions among college students. Unexpectedly, we found racial differences in perceptions of whether the news stories involved racial discrimination. The implications of these findings are discussed considering social media news, marginalization, and activism among college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Media and Society
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • activism
  • civic engagement
  • framing
  • institutional discrimination
  • social media news

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Computer Science Applications

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