Mapping social media trajectories in Zimbabwe

Authored by: Bruce Mutsvairo

The Routledge Companion To Media And Activism

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138202030
eBook ISBN: 9781315475059
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315475059-31

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Abstract

In today’s globalized world, the growth of digital media is bringing about fundamental changes in the way people in sub-Saharan Africa think and act (Mutsvairo 2016). The availability of online movements provides a firsthand opportunity to critically examine current digital engagements among citizens and activists seeking political reform in Zimbabwe. The chapter argues that while social media is leading to a great deal of virtual awareness, very little action is taken to end the plight of citizens, thereby weakening the real impact of social media activism. ICTs, and more specifically the digital media, have radically changed the way cultures, economies, governments and human beings interact with each other. Similarly, the development of global information and communication infrastructures has radically transformed ways in which knowledge and content are created, produced and distributed. Conceptualizing activism in an African context requires a cross-disciplinary examination of factors facilitating and inhibiting its growth across the continent. This chapter, therefore, attempts to look at opportunities and challenges facing online protests in the wake of growing social media prevalence in Zimbabwe.

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