Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology/Criminal Justice

Committee Director

Garland White

Committee Member

Dianne Carmody

Committee Member

Roderick Graham

Abstract

The use of Social Networking Sites, Facebook in particular, has become a major avenue of communication; Facebook has become a platform where people can discuss any topic of their choice to include social issues within society. While some argue Facebook is only a disseminator of information, others argue that in addition to being a disseminator of information it is also a motivator of social activism. Facebook profiles consist of one’s social ties, both strong and weak, which have the potential to expose users to different information daily. Using Mark Granovetter’s strength of weak social ties theory as a framework, the purpose of this study is to determine if Facebook users are influenced by their weak social ties to participate in social activism. The data utilized in this study is secondary data collected by the Pew Research Center. The findings include a relationship between social ties and social activism and a relationship between particular acts of social activism and social ties. This research concluded that Granovetter’s theory is not applicable to Facebook users in that it is not one’s weak social ties that influence them to participate in social activism, but rather their strong social ties.

ISBN

9781339855974

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