Advocacy Through Social Media: Exploring Student Engagement in Addressing Social Issues

Glenn A. Bowen, Nickesia S. Gordon, Margaret K. Chojnacki


Social media have become ubiquitous and are seen as beneficial to society. Although the use of social media for educational purposes has been the subject of recent research, not much is known about their role in higher education civic engagement. Employing critical discourse analysis, this study explored the function of social media as a tool to promote the civic engagement of students through advocacy focused on identified social issues. Findings of this qualitative research are discussed as themes pertaining to the challenges of advocacy, the relative importance of advocacy processes, and the function of social media infrastructure. The authors also discuss the implications for pedagogy and for research in the area of technology-mediated, issue-focused advocacy by university students.


advocacy, social media, civic engagement, Facebook, Twitter

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