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Methods workshop on researching Activists’ Affective and Networking Practices on Social Media

On July 4-5, researchers of the collaborative research center “Affective Societies” will hold a multidisciplinary methods workshop titled "Understanding Mobilization on Social Media: Methodological Approaches to Activists' Affective and Networking Practices".

News from Jun 14, 2024

How can researchers address and analyze the role of emotions and affect in protest mobilization on social media? How do they go about handling vast amounts of multimodal data, rapidly changing digital infrastructures, and data security laws? What are the challenges and opportunities of computational methods, and how can qualitative methods be applied to social media data? On July 4-5, a methods workshop will address these questions from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Social media has allowed groups that have been marginalized in the past to express themselves and challenge mainstream views. How activists use social media, as well as how they mobilize and develop strategies in these contexts is shaped by emotions and feelings. Sometimes different activist groups form emotional alliances, such as between some feminist and anti-feminist activists, as seen in studies on racist and anti-transgender mobilizations.

However, the alt/far right, and anti-gender groups are also using social media to hijack feminist and anti-racist movements online. They have created their own networks across different platforms, often referred to as the "manosphere". As the online public sphere becomes more fragmented and the lines between various movements grow indistinct, studying activism on social media platforms presents greater complexity.

The Workshop

The event will bring together international scholars working with various methods of automated, quantitative, qualitative, and multimodal analysis to present and discuss the different layers of analyzing social media data. The areas of interest include applied analysis of activist practices, feminist and anti-feminist protest movements and their formations on social media, contestations within and among these movements, and finally, the role of affect, emotion, and embodiment in social media activism. Questions of technological, methodological, and ethical challenges around social media analysis will also be discussed.


We will start with a keynote by Prof. Sarah J. Jackson (University of Pennsylvania) on 4th of July and continue with workshop sessions on 5th of July.

You can find the abstract of the keynote by Prof. Sarah J. Jackson: Revisiting #HashtagActivism: Methods, Ethics, and Moving On below and the full program here.

  • Key Note: 4 July, 18 – 20h, Hörsaal 21B, Ihnestr. 21.

  • Workshop sessions: 5 July, 09:30 – 16:00, in seminar room 0.2051, Holzlaube, Fabeckstr. 23/25.

You can attend the keynote without registration. However, if you would like to attend the workshops, please register by 24 June by emailing andrea.lora.rojas@fu-berlin.de

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