Constructing Public Spaces| Participants on the Margins: Examining the Role that Shared Artifacts of Engagement in the Ferguson Protests Played Among Minoritized Political Newcomers on Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter

Lynn Schofield Clark


Utilizing ethnographic methods, this article explores how diverse young people at the margins of politics used social media in relation to the Ferguson protests. The article argues for the significance of what is termed artifacts of engagement, referring to the photos, messages, and other materials that signal political involvement and that young students of color shared with their peers through the social media of Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. Shared artifacts of engagement and the affordances of the platforms through which they are shared are both found to be key to what Bennett and Segerberg (2013) term connective action, or the ways that individuals use social media as they personalize expressions of a movement’s goals and may therefore participate in larger efforts aimed at bringing about social change. 


critical youth studies; political newcomers; social media

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