Do Not Close My School: Facebook, Occupations and Demonstrations for Promoting Social Change
This article describes how secondary education students from the state of São Paulo, Brazil, protested against the closure of ninety-four schools of public educational system. The movement named ‘Do not close my school’ was a combination of online protest, using Facebook pages, occupy-type protest, in which students occupied more than 200 schools, and demonstrations, which occurred in different cities of the state. It was a movement organized by the students, with no official support of school managers, and lasted more than two months. We analyse the activities involved in the ‘Do not close my school’ movement under a Cultural-Historical Activity Theory framework, and we discuss how the concept of collaborative agency is important for the development of such a protest. As data, we use the content of pages on Facebook from fifty-six groups related to the school occupation and 111 official pages, also on Facebook, from the schools. We performed a multimodal and network analysis of the data in order to understand how the movement developed which results were obtained by the students. Our findings suggest that by acting collaboratively students were able to reach satisfactory results from their protests. In addition, they expanded the activities in their groups on Facebook to other contexts, like organizing events in their schools or using them for other social movements.
Fernando Rezende da Cunha Júnior,
Monica Ferreira Lemos,
Do Not Close My School: Facebook, Occupations and Demonstrations for Promoting Social Change, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Vol. 5, No. 6,
2017, pp. 222-229.
S. Brunsting and T. Postmes, “Social movement participation in the digital age - Predicting offline and online collective action,” Small Gr. Res., vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 525–554, 2002.
S. González-Bailón, J. Borge-Holthoefer, and Y. Moreno, “Broadcasters and Hidden Influentials in Online Protest Diffusion,” Am. Behav. Sci., vol. 57, no. 7, p. 943, 2013.
J.-L. Micó and A. Casero-Ripollés, “Political activism online: organization and media relations in the case of 15M in Spain,” Information, Commun. Soc., vol. 17, no. 7, pp. 858–871, 2014.
M. F. Lemos and F. Cunha Jr, “Facebook in Brazilian schools: mobilizing to fight back,” Mind, Cult. Act., 2017.
D. Mercea, “Probing the implications of Facebook use for the organizational form of social movement organizations,” Inf. Commun. Soc., vol. 16, no. 8, pp. 1306–1327, 2013.
A. Vromen, M. A. Xenos, and B. Loader, “Young people, social media and connective action: from organisational maintenance to everyday political talk,” J. Youth Stud., vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 80–100, 2015.
F. Frenzel, A. Feigenbaum, and P. McCurdy, “Protest camps: an emerging field of social movement research,” Sociol. Rev., vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 457–474, 2014.
A. Velasquez and R. Larose, “Youth collective activism through social media: The role of collective efficacy,” New Media Soc., vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 899–918, 2015.
L. Yates, “Everyday politics, social practices and movement networks: daily life in Barcelona’s social centres,” Br. J. Sociol., vol. 66, no. 2, pp. 236–258, 2015.
F. Bailo, “Mapping online political talks through network analysis: a case study of the website of Italy’s Five Star Movement,” Policy Stud., vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 550–572, 2015.
C. Guzman-Concha, “The Students’ Rebellion in Chile: Occupy Protest or Classic Social Movement?,” Soc. Mov. Stud., pp. 1–8, 2012.
B. N. Jaworsky, “Mobilising for Immigrant Rights Online: Performing ‘American’ National Identity through Symbols of Civic-Economic Participation,” J. Intercult. Stud., vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 579–599, 2015.
S. Harlow, “Social media and social movements: Facebook and an online Guatemalan justice movement that moved offline,” New Media Soc., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 225–243, 2012.
J. Pickerill and J. Krinsky, “Why Does Occupy Matter?,” Soc. Mov. Stud., vol. 11, no. 3–4, pp. 279–287, 2012.
A. Adi, “Occupy PR: An analysis of online media communications of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy London,” Public Relat. Rev., vol. 41, no. 4, p. 508, 2015.
F. R. da Cunha Jr., C. van Kruistum, and B. van Oers, “Teachers and Facebook: using online groups to improve students’ communication and engagement in education,” Commun. Teach., vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 228–241, 2016.
U. Dolata and J.-F. Schrape, “Masses, Crowds, Communities, Movements: Collective Action in the Internet Age,” Soc. Mov. Stud., vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 1–18, 2016.
F. Rojas, “Social Movement Tactics, Organizational Change and the Spread of African-American Studies,” Soc. Forces, vol. 84, no. 4, pp. 2147–2166, 2006.
J. D. Borrero, S. Y. Yousafzai, U. Javed, and K. L. Page, “Expressive participation in Internet social movements: Testing the moderating effect of technology readiness and sex on student SNS use,” Comput. Human Behav., vol. 30, pp. 39–49, 2013.
M. Foucault, “The subject and Power,” Crit. Inq., vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 777–795, 1982.
M. Castells, Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2012.
A. Maireder and C. Schwarzenegger, “A movement of connected individuals: Social media in the Austrian student protests 2009,” Information, Commun. Soc., vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 171–195, 2012.
S. Costanza-Chock, “Mic Check! Media Cultures and the Occupy Movement,” Soc. Mov. Stud., pp. 1–11, 2012.
Y. Engeström, Learning by expanding. An activity theoretical approach to developmental research, 1st ed. Helsinki: Orienta Konsultit, 1987.
A. N. Leontiev, Activity, consciousness and personality. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1978.
L. S. Vygotsky, The Collected Works of L. S. Vygotsky, 1st ed., vol. 4. New York and London: Plenum Press, 1987.
Y. Engeström, “Wildfire activities: new patterns of mobility and learning,” J. Mob. Blended Learn., vol. 1, no. 2, p. 18, 2009.
A. Giddens, The constitution of society. Outline of the theory of structuration. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986.
R. Miettinen, “Creative encounters and collaborative agency in science, technology and innovation,” in Handbook of research on creativity, K. Thomas and J. Chan, Eds. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013, pp. 435–449.
R. Miettinen, “Creative encounters and the emergence of object-oriented collaborative agency,” in European Group of Organizational Studies, 2010.
P. Freire, Educação como prática da liberdade [Education as liberty practice]. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1967.
P. Freire, Pedagogia da Autonomia [Pedagogy of autonomy], 49a. Rio de Janeiro: Paz & Terra, 2014.
L. Deus, “Entenda a evolução das ocupações de escolas em São Paulo [Understanding the evolution of school occupation in São Paulo,” Revista Educação, Editora Segmento, São Paulo, Mar-2015.
V. Barbara, “Another defeat for Brazil’s Kids,” The New York Times, The New York Times Company, New York, 2015.
R. Azevedo, “Em meio a invasões de escolas, promovidas por PT e outros, cai popularidade de Alkmin,” Veja, vol. 2015, Abril, São Paulo, Mar-2015.
C. J. Forceville, “Book review: Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication,” J. Pragmat., vol. 43, no. 14, pp. 3624–3626, 2011.
G. Kress, Literacy in the New Media Age. London: Routledge, 2003.
J. van Dijk, The network society, 2nd ed. London: SAGE Publications, 2006.
Globo, “Veja a lista das escolas ocupadas no estado de São Paulo [Check the list of occupied schools in the state of São Paulo],” G1 São Paulo, Globo, São Paulo NV - Daily, Mar-2015.
Facebook, “45% da população brasileira acessa o Facebook mensalmente [45% of Brazilians access Facebook every month],” vol. 2016. Facebook, 2015.
P. Freire, Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Herder and Herder, 1970.