Digital Media, Climate Change, and Democracy
In their early development phase, social media technologies have commonly been labelled as agents of democratisation. More recent literature (e.g. on algorithms, personalisation, and fake news) has questioned these assumptions, suggesting that democratic engagement may be difficult to attain online. This controversy has been of particular relevance for climate change debate since citizens across the globe have been affected unequally by the environmental changes. As such, issues of digital democracy carry significant weight for the realisation of climate justice. This guest lecture will outline the complex ways in which social technologies, climate change debate, and democratic engagement intersect. It will do so by presenting findings on visual narratives on climate change and discussing factors that shape online political engagement.
Suay Melisa Oezkula is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow on the project Digi-EMP at SIS Trento. She is a digital sociologist with a focus on digital activism, technological determinism, empowerment through social technologies. As part of DIGI-EMP, she is now exploring whether and how users taking part in crowdsourcing initiatives on climate change experience political empowerment. Previously, she was a Junior Lecturer and post-doctoral Research Fellow on "Making Climate Social" at the Dept. of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield.