Famed sociologist Michael Burawoy visits to share his thoughts on the common character of social movements happening throughout the world today. Michael is the former president of both the American and International Sociological Associations, and he is widely credited as a master of placing everyday life in the context of global and historical forces. Our own Erik Kojola asks Michael about his vision for the future of social movement research, as well as the mounting problems that face public universities today.
This week we continue our investigation into the world of online politics by talking with Mary Joyce about digital activism. We discuss what qualifies as digital activism, the value of research that focuses on the big picture, and the relationship between these new technologies and more traditional forms of social organizing.
This week we talk with Gabriella Coleman about her current research on Anonymous and her recently published book, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking, which you can download for free under a Creative Commons license. We discuss the rise of Anonymous, how to research a web-based collective whose members hide their identity, the art of “trolling”, and the political significance of the group.
The Society Pages’ Community Page Cyborgology has also written a review of Coding Freedom, which can be read here.
This week we talk with Amy Finnegan about Uganda and Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign. For the past dozen years, Finnegan has been teaching and doing research in Uganda. In particular, Finnegan has studied the relationship between outside groups like Invisible Children and local Ugandan activists. How are campaigns like Kony 2012 received in Uganda? And do they help or hurt the cause of indigenous Ugandan activists? Listen up to find out.
UPDATE: Since recording this interview, Finnegan and other academics have gone the extra mile to get information out to the public about the context and current events in Uganda—as well as how to talk, teach, and do something about it—at their new website, MakingSenseofKony.org. Please do check it out!