tv Jennifer Earl Discusses Digitally Enabled Social Change CSPAN May 20, 2017 9:30am-10:01am EDT
bottleneck verse. bottleneck for someone who advocates the creation or perpetuation of a government regulation particularly an occupational license to restrict the free flow of workers into an occupation in order to enjoy an economic benefit as a result. >> you can watch this and other programs online a book tv.org. >> this is book tv on c-span2, television for serious readers. we are on location at the university of arizona talking to a variety of professors who are also authors. joining us now is professor jennifer earl, her book "digitally enabled social change: activism in the internet age". first about what you do hear? >> , professor of sociology where i teach and research about social movements, particularly
digital activism and the study of repression which is how private actors try to control protests. >> let's start with the digital half of this. what is a tactic that you write about in your book? >> the book we introduced is cowritten by katrina porter and i and what we were trying to do is really highlight the wide variety of ways in which people use digital tools for activism. a lot of times we think about digitally enabled social challenges using digital media to turn people out to off-line events. inc. about the support that happens for instance for the women's march. that is one popular way of thinking about the impact of digital activism or digital media on activism, but in the book katrina and i wanted to look at it a different way that people use tools which is to actually engage in activism
online, so think about online petitions, online letterwriting campaigns or we might talk about something bar last contention will like a service attack where people use tens of thousands of computers to make a request at the same time of a server overloading the server and bringing it down. all of those kinds of tools you could engage in while online for activism, you think of as being kind of each tactics in other words tactics happening on and through the internet and our book is concerned with the ways in which those may change verse the process of organizing and produce the patient. >> let's go back to the women's march. how did that become digitally distributed and what was its importance? >> the women's march, we could think about the digital march on washington is being an example of what we call immobilization
in the book, so basically that's immobilization of facilitated through web, so the kinds of things you might expect to see there could be for instant widescale advertising through social media, maybe logistics coordination so people from a common area, carpooling, were housing arrangements, signs distributed online, all of those things would be ways of using digital media to support people coming together in this off-line if that. but katrina and my book focuses on tactics where you can engage instantly, so you can sign an online petition right now. you can join a letterwriting campaign right now. you can fax your congressional members right now and so what we are interested in in is the difference of dynamics of engaging right now and very low cost and without physically
coming together in time or space with other people versus the kinds of digitally enabled activism we have seen where people are using those tools and are quite similar to what you may have seen in the 60s or 70s. okay, when has it been effective? >> there are lots of examples. one i particularly like to talk about because i think it's an ingenious use of tools and targeting, a few years ago a young woman and former football player came together to create a petition that they put on page.org and it essentially asked or demanded, i guess that the association that governs high school applications adopt a require coaches to engage in training to reduce sexual
harassment and rape. if you think about the world of athletics and a lot of the high profile campus rape charges you know and if you think about just the role of coaches and developing young men and women you also know coaches have a huge amount of influence on athletes and how they think about a wide range of subjects so that i did this was the dish and is you could intervene and get coaches to start taking a positive step in reducing and hopefully eliminating rape and sexual harassment. this petition got a huge number of signatures and was most early the most attention that had been paid. they said there were working with feminist organizations to develop such a curriculum and implement it with high school coaches and it does so. i think if you are concerned about sexual harassment and rape on campuses this is a major step forward in something that really would not have come out of
women's march kind of situation. it was a targeted online with a specific ask and specific target and is likely to affect lots of women. you could also think about other kinds of online petitions, bank of america for instance rollback proposed fees when a change.org petition got started and embarrassed the company and it quickly backtracked. in other writings i talk about various examples of this from very small petitions that garner just a couple hundred signatures, but can still change corporate policy too much larger online position-- petitions. >> is it change.org a major player in this? >> it is now. when kateri net and i were doing our research change.org existed, but a larger player was a site that they have since acquired called petitions online and it was actually started by a guy
whose architect by training and used proceeds of his work in architecture to fund this website with a democratic belief in petitioning, so he put up this website and said i'm interested in people being able to make change the matter what the topic is, so as long as it's not illegal you can create a petition and i will host the space to gather signatures, you publicize this and across time he helped to collect and give to corporate leaders and government officials tens of millions of signatures. now, that site was acquired by change.org and it change.org works a bit differently allowing people to put up their own petition, but also selects petitions that it thinks fit within its overall agenda and sponsors though that also see
petitions that are sort of on the rise quickly and they help to step in and get even more signatures for them. a couple other online platforms that do this kind of things in the also see on my petitions and letterwriting campaigns with other websites like moveon. you can also imagine you have your own blog certainly in the research that katrina and i did we found this with your own blog and your sense that people should write their congressional representatives and you put up the information or a link to get that information and help people do. >> jennifer, it's been 20 years or so since the digital revolution is really happening, so this is essentially first one researches that? >> it is. one of the things i think is great about what we tried to do in this book that was different
because everything was so new was really trying to look at what is moveon do, what does just petition online do? and one of the things katrina and i tried to do was say technology involves a wide distribution of people engage in behavior, so you have your innovative uses and also your mondes uses. like to explain it as a comic that was around customer service booths where someone had a coffee cup on a dvd tray and they work on into a customer service line to say that their automatic coffee holder had broken. people use technology in a wide variety of ways and any approach to understanding the impact of technology on social movements has to account for the fact that sometimes people use technology in ways no one meant to and maybe shouldn't like a coffee holder and also widely innovative ways, so we tried to
sample online content about social movement so we can essentially do something like a population survey of what's online so we get both the sort of big iconic exemplary uses like moveon, but also get the more mondes everyday impact in the book tries understand how is technology being used and how can it affect activism. >> the book is called "digitally enabled social change". the authors are jennifer kearl and i will appoint our policy and targets of petitions going to become immune to this in the sense of, okay it's easy to sign a petition online? >> that's a common question and i think it deserves a bit of unpacking, so i will tell you a
secret of social movement which is it's hard to show what specific tactics let alone mark-- larger movements have and i think people start with this assumption that all foreign activism is exceptionally accepted. it's judging that activism in the secret is we don't know that's always true and it's often easier to show an overall movement versus a specific action has some impact and even within movements there is variation, so movements that use more novel tactics, larger support bases will be more effective, so what i would like to suggest is that people think about the effectiveness of online activism with the tendency they think about off-line activism, which is what social movement could really say about off-line activism the edit sometime effective.
i think the same thing is true of online activism. there's some stricken stances under which online activism is unlikely to be terribly successful. willet and racism tomorrow? no, bet 50 years of struggle through lots of off-line engagement also have not ended racism, so we have to think about what is the correct comparison point. i will say online activism when focused with date specific goals there is a congressional-- call your representative by and any action whether it's off-line or on mobilizes a large number of people, so it's a wrap isn't hearing from people and all of a sudden gets 8000 calls they know something is going on.
you can hear in that current pushback from republican congress members who are kind of overwhelmed by the amount of activity and connection their constituents are asking for that they feel a great deal of pressure from these contacts, so there might also be contextual circumstances that would make you feel online would be less effective, but so too would off-line, so if you're talking about in a district that has been gerrymandered and there's less likely that eight election will be competitive, often times on my protests, neither will be particularly effective because the representative is in a safe seat. if you are talking about an elector in a competitive district then you are in a situation where both off-line and online protests could probably matter because this person knows they have to be sensitive to what constituents are thinking and feeling, so
what i would encourage people to think about is that both off-line and online protests can be effective. the circumstances may vary. online has a real advantage when talking about a date specific date in mobilizing large numbers of people. off-line protest has an advantage when target about something you need to last for several years or decades and in some ways they embody separate models of power. the matter of power by off-line movement is really a model of power where constant pressure matters. the version of power embodied by what i like to call/activism or the online activism is not that the water that will still be there in two weeks that matter, it's this huge torrent of water now that is unavoidable in its repercussion and so when you think about how do you pressure people with flash floods of involvement we can get at the
kinds of actions most effective for online activism. >> also, what you mentioned earlier denial of service; correct? how is that used to? >> denial of service action are illegal to engage in and so people engage in them with some risk, but the idea would be, i mean, technically similar to flooding someone's office with a lot of calls you are kind of overwhelming them with calls and at a technical level with denial of service you are overwhelming a server with numbers of request and unlike an office that just gets irritated more sensitive to issues a server will just shut down after there's too much demand, so what basically happens until that can be reduced the server may remain inaccessible to both the judgment and non- legitimate users, so i don't want to
suggest flooding someone with calls is the same thing in a legal sense at all as flooding a server because one is clearly legal and one is not, but the idea with both his the overwhelming numbers and that you can send a clear signals with overwhelming numbers. >> do you find for commercial outfits are more sensitive than perhaps a government entities. >> one way to think about this is how competitive is the sort of target industry you are talking, so certainly corporations are very concerned about their online presence and brand management and have increasingly employed large cadres of people and other social media presences to make sure that talking about that
brand can be addressed and it comes off-line as quickly as possible, so there's reason to believe online pressure matters to corporations because it has the ability to directly affected their brand and to do so out of their control. now you can actually say the same thing is true for elected officials presuming you are talking about officials that see themselves for the election to be competitive, so the comparison would be if you had the monopoly so it doesn't really matter if consumers are upset because you are the only person selling, so if they are upset too bad they will still buy. if they're happy, great, they will still buy. if you are in a noncompetitive district you would be the same
situation where basically protests by your constituents don't matter because you are not really worried what will happen at the ballot box, but the more competitive with the district of more you should be willing to think about these things and the more competitive your industry the more you should be worried about protecting your brand. >> wager background? >> i grew up in his-- houston, texas. >> how long have you been at the university of arizona? >> since 2012. i went to undergraduate at northwestern and came and got my phd at university of arizona and then i went and taught at uc santa barbara for about 10 years and then decided the desert was calling and came back to join the faculty in 2012. i was interested in digital protest kind of by accident. i was studying social movements already and in the run-up to the
2000 election, which you may recall also resulted in electoral conversion we had the situation where people on the left were trying to decide do i vote for gore or nader and people on the right were trying to decide do i vote for buchanan or bush and in the run-up to the election there were a small number of websites that got started and this was early on and sort of public internet use and said we will gain the electoral college essentially and help you swap votes across state lines are within the state so you can see your multitech shared preferences foreboding realized, so if i was on the left for instance and i wanted court to win but i wanted to support nader if i was in a safe state that was going to go to bush or gore then i would agree to vote for nader and then in another state of voter that
might have wanted to vote for nader would agree to go for gore to try to maximize our conditional preferences and i thought this is an insane idea and a insanely clever that here we have this institution that people have tried to change for a long time, the electoral college and now you have people saying we don't have to change by law how this works, we can change my practice how this works and so i started studying the small group of websites and a collaborator joined me on the study and basically every expectation we could have about social movement theories, who would organize these, how would they organize, who would participate in every expectation we could have was systematically being violated as we studied these websites and that is a scientist makes you think there is either something fundamental going on here or something problematic, i've got an
artifact, bad luck etc., so this started a series of studies that i got involved in to really try to check that method in various ways and of the findings just kept coming back to many of the classic expectations that people were upset when they use technology and innovative ways and with someone concerned about the ability to understand social movements and to continue to analyze them in a contemporary time i was really concerned my field needed to understand these digital tools because it's a fundamental mechanism behind protests shifting and we couldn't just a pipe classic theories and expect our job was done. we were really going to have to dig in and understand what fundamentally is shifting and how to respond. >> professor girl, are groups using it across the plastic--
political spectrum or pre-match on the left? >> definitely across the political spectrum and in some ways there are a few differences i noted in my work across the political spectrum and some of those would actually surprise you, so in some work i have done , one way of thinking about how to website is that i'm just using it as a new broadcast tool so i'm trying to push information out to you, but another way to think about it is interactive media where i'm trying to ask for things from you and that can be scary for politicians because when you ask people to participate in the publish with a right they can say things that are on script and off script, things that flatter you or embarrass you so there is loss of control and at least in early research i've done and we will have to see if this continues to bear out it seems like right-wing sites or
or sites that are far out to the right on the political agenda are more willing to have that kind of interactivity with their participants and with site users then sites that are on the less or permissive websites and that's the kind of tactics used across the website, things like online petition, letter writing campaign etc. and they tend to be fairly similar. >> the book is called "digitally enabled social change" university of arizona professor earl, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> sunday night on afterwards, journalist stuart taylor examines campus sexual assault policy in his book the campus rape frenzy, the-- he's
interviewed by editor in chief of the national law journal paralegal times. >> share for the viewers what is your general thesis we are looking at here? what will be-- what will we be reading about? >> the gist is there have been a huge myth that's taken root that there's academic-- epidemic of campus rape, a culture of campus rape where it's encouraged and condoned even by the administrators that it's out of control, increasing in its worse off campus-- on campus and and requires demolishing new process and presumption of innocence for the accused people where 99% are male and that's not an accident. it comes from extreme feminism, male hating extreme feminist in some cases and also pushed by the obama administration. >> watch afterwords, sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2 book tv.
>> what do these doctors do is that we interrupt patients quickly something like eight to 10 seconds he sam having this kind-- when did it start, and we just can't help ourselves, so i wondered how long would it be if you didn't say thing and just let them go and i pulled my colleagues, five minutes, 10 minutes, and i found a study that actually did this, a swiss study with the doctor said what can i help you with and the patient spoke in the did not say a word other than nod in the average monologue for the patient, 92 seconds, this tsunami we fear and i thought okay i will try this in my clinic in the next day i did it with every patient. i turn on my stopwatch and did not say a word and took notes and nodded, so the first patient
took about 30 seconds, but they were pretty healthy in the next patient had a bit of back pain, a minute to a minute and a half, not too bad then came the kicker a teacher in her native argentina was saddled with a fast array of insoluble pains compounded by anxiety, depression and irritable bowel syndrome plus a demanding mother to care for, exactly the patient with a list of complaints. if i let her talk interrupted i hear a whisk of symptoms from every organ, a rundown of her mother-- mother's medical bills
-- ills. i wouldn't be able to provide a solution for her symptoms and i would be forced to explain the decisions of her mother's doctors as well. both-- the whole thing would turn out to be a sprawling onerous mess which ms. guards-- the promise myself, but every single patient talk today, so i eliminated the difficult patients and my data however informal would be flawed. i guarded myself for battle and asked how can i help you today and turn on the stopwatch. every single thing hurts she says from my toes to my head with shooting paid-- pain and her scott, her scalp was sensitive, neck pain down her spine.
her mother had insomnia and was up all hours of the night. each time she paused i said anything else in there always was. she said i'm only 45 and i feel like i'm 85. my head feels like it's swollen. it's like i'm walking through manas-- molasses. i scribbled notes on paper as she talked and maintained eye contact. list everything on the table, every last symptom and we will figure out where to go from there. i let her keep talking until she fully had come to the end of all she had to say and in the silence i reached over to click off the stopwatch and estimated eight minutes, 10 minutes transpired, but in fact it was four minutes and seven seconds. i suppressed the urge to jump up and say wow instead i turned back and said is that everything and she nodded.
i looked at the list i had been jotting down. the list did not actually seem to overwhelm me. it was long, but it was fine. she had already had a million dollar work which was all negative. i said that doesn't mean we can start treating your symptoms. we went down the list trying to identify which pains might help with ice pack or local heat and massage or best to do with physical therapy and which might respond to pain medication. how antidepressants could be helpful in seeing a therapist. we discussed exercise in treating chronic pain wrote up a plan. at the end of the visit she went over time not by too much and she said something i had read about but had never actually heard a patient say. just talking about all of this she said has made me feel better
i wanted to jump up and sing, which luckily for all i refrain from. talking this all out made me feel better. >> you can watch this and other programs on my netbook tv.org. >> now book tv is live from eight annual book festival. you will hear from several authors including ronald reagan heard biographer, fox news contributor juan williams, former white house aide, sidney blumenthal and many more. first up here is maria olson the author of "not the cleaver family" about the modern family structure. this is a book tv live coverage of the book festival. >> good morning.