Alum Jen Schradie in Democratic Audit

05 Mar, 2019

Alum Jen Schradie in Democratic Audit

Alum Jen Schradie, now an Assistant Professor at the Observatoire sociologique du changement (OSC) at Sciences Po, exmaines the dynamic differences in digital activism involvement. Schradie shares her research on the race and class-based chasm in digital activism in the Democratic Audit.

Schradie has long studied this particular phenomenon in North Carolina, where she found that middle and upper class groups are much more likely to engage in digital activism. Whereas working class – and predominantly African American – groups are not using online spaces for such activity with the same frequency. She writes that not only do most working-class activists simply not have the time to be online, but they also frequently do not feel empowered to use online spaces for activism. In fact, many fear doing so, concerned over the possibility for retaliation from employers.

Schradie concludes:

"First, many working-class activists simply didn’t have the time to be online. While some may begrudge all of the time spent in front of computers and phones or perhaps may find social media addictive and want to take breaks from it, some people simply are not able to be online 24/7, even if they do own a smartphone with an affordable data plan (which is not always the case). Some activists I talked to had to surrender their phones when they clocked into work, or they were working two or three jobs to make ends meet and didn’t have time to post, comment or like."

Read more about her research here!