[CITAMS] Call for Papers: Special Issue of Social Media + Society: Marginality and Social Media

Katy Pearce Kepearce at uw.edu
Sun Jul 1 15:16:32 EDT 2018

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Social Media + Society: Marginality
and Social Media


Social media and the internet have opened up new forms of empowerment
and oppression that may particularly affect the lives of the
marginalized. Marginality, as we are defining it, following Gatzweiler
and Baumüller (2013), can be understood as the experience of
disadvantaged (typically involuntarily) people or groups who are
excluded from the resources and opportunities they need to participate
as full and equal members of society. Marginality influences what
people can achieve and limits their abilities to take advantage of the
resources and opportunities afforded to non-marginalized peers.
Further, marginalized individuals and groups are often politically,
economically, and/or socially vulnerable, as their susceptibility to
harm is greater, often due to to their exclusion from critical

Sometimes social media are a means for marginalized individuals or
groups to address insufficient resources and barriers to
participation. For example, social media have been implicated in new
opportunities for building social capital (Gonzales, 2017), finding
like-minded others (Blackwell et al., 2016; Clark-Parsons, 2017;
Dhoest & Szulc, 2016; Gray, 2009; Jackson, Bailey, & Foucault-Welles,
2017; Pearce & Vitak, 2016; Pearce, Vitak, & Barta, 2018), providing
social support (Gonzales, Kwon, Lynch, & Fritz, 2016; Hanasono & Yang,
2016; Rho, Haimson, Andalibi, Mazmanian, & Hayes, 2017), and
engagement in advocacy (Blackwell et al., 2016; Fritz & Gonzales,
2018; Jackson et al., 2017).

At the same time, other research highlights the shortcomings of social
media use for the marginalized as well, including harassment and
discrimination (Duguay, 2016; Eckert, 2018; Fritz & Gonzales, 2018;
Lawson, 2018; Marwick & Caplan, 2018; Nakamura, 2015), doxxing (Wood,
Rose, & Thompson, 2018), surveillance (Manning & Stern, 2018; Marwick,
Fontaine, & boyd, 2017; Megarry, 2017; Pitcan, Marwick, & boyd, 2018;
Vickery, 2014), and the use of social media by people in power to
further isolate the marginalized (Flores-Yeffal, Vidales, & Martinez,
2017; Linabary & Corple, 2018; Pearce, 2015; Woods, 2014).

These opportunities and risks affect marginalized people’s use of
social media at all stages: access, skills, optimization, privacy,
backlash, and development of features, applications, platforms, and
tools to deal with unanticipated outcomes, etc. This call seeks
manuscripts that consider either or both the strengths and the
weaknesses of internet and social media communication for individuals
from marginalized groups with the hope of building theory in this area
that can ground and foster continued research and understanding.

We seek manuscripts that include a novel analysis of data and
meaningfully engage with theory on marginalization. We follow Linabary
and Corple's (2018) call to "study up" - start research from the lived
experience of such groups for understanding. “Meaningful engagement”
includes (but is not limited to): emphasizing the links between
marginalization theory and communication research; testing the
validity of communication theory not typically applied to marginalized
populations; proposing new theoretical constructs that are relevant to
marginalization in digital communication; and/or recognizing the need
for theoretically interdisciplinary approaches to marginalization in
communication. We also welcome manuscripts that engage with
methodological approaches to marginality and social media (e.g.,
Brock, 2016; Linabary and Corple, 2018), as these are important
building blocks for successful and ethical research. Finally, we also
seek manuscripts that engage stakeholders outside of the academic
sphere as collaborators, including policy makers, activists,
non-profit representatives, as well as, of course, representatives
from marginalized communities being investigated. Projects with a
public outreach component that benefits marginalized communities or
groups as a function of their investigation (e.g. community workshops,
media engagement, etc.) are especially encouraged. All authors must
follow basic precepts of ethical research at all research stages, and
take into consideration community norms related to privacy. Basic
precepts include: respect for privacy, secure storage of sensitive
data, voluntary and informed consent when appropriate, avoiding
deceptive practices when not essential, beneficence (maximizing the
benefits to an individual or to society while minimizing harm to the
individual), and risk mitigation. Members of marginalized groups may
require additional safeguards to ensure ethical and responsible
treatment during research. Authors are encouraged to discuss these
issues, and include a section on ethical considerations in their final

We seek submissions relating to social media and marginalization,
broadly construed. Possible topics include:

Social media as a non-traditional way of accessing power

Barriers to social media use (tied to marginality)

Effects of social media use (tied to marginality)

Marginalized identities/groups’ use of social media for social support

Use of social media for advocacy or awareness-building

Use of social media to work around traditional gatekeepers

Privacy calculus or risk-benefits for marginalized online

Harassment of marginalized people or groups online

Self-presentation of marginalized online

Ethics/methods of studying marginalized people online or engaging with

Guest editors

Katy Pearce, University of Washington

Brooke Foucault Welles, Northeastern University

Amy Gonzales, University of California, Santa Barbara

Authors should initially submit an extended abstract of 800-1000 words
(not including references). The extended abstract should contain the
key elements of the manuscript, research questions, methodology and
the primary contribution of the manuscript.

The form will also ask for author contact information and abbreviated
biography statements for each author describing their main research
interests and background.

Tentative timeline:

Extended abstracts 800-1000 words (not including references) due
November 28, 2018, 12noon Eastern Time - upload here

Extended abstract authors notified of acceptance ~February 15, 2019

Full manuscript (~8000 words) due May 20, 2019, 12noon Eastern Time

-- Reviews given to authors --

Revised manuscript due November 15, 2019, 12noon Eastern Time

Contact: marginsocialmedia at gmail.com


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