Practicing Gender and Race in Online Activism to Improve Safe Public Space in Sweden
This article aims to locate the social practices of activist groups online and clarify how they collectively practice gender and race. It draws upon a qualitative study of two locale‐oriented groups that sought to improve safe public space in their respective cities in Sweden. Using Grounded Theory method, I observed and analyzed each group's public Facebook site from initiation until decline or maintenance. The findings captured five routine behaviors done by the groups in a tacit manner: responding to a concrete incident, creating meaningful participation, fostering substantive debate, formulating a long‐term vision, and questioning social hierarchies . Working with theories of social, gendered, and racialized practices, I analyze these behaviors as practices available to the activist groups to do, yet open for social change through their performance. Although all five practices were detected among both groups, the two groups performed them differently and this had consequences for their maintenance as well as their ability to challenge gender and racial hierarchies. The analysis makes an important contribution to social movement scholarship by showing how tacit and routine behavior forms the backbone of any collective action and is a crucial site for the (re)construction of social hierarchies.
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