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Open Cultural Studies

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Romanian Diasporic Facebook Groups as Public Spheres

Teodor Ajder
Published Online: 2018-12-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2018-0065

Abstract

The pilot Survey discussed in this paper was designed to understand to what extent Romanian Diasporic Facebook groups (RDFGs) build up public spheres, i.e. spaces in which people can form public opinions that can shape political subjectivity (Habermas 178) and to understand the impact of the RDFGs administrators as community organisers. The Survey incorporated questions on the administrators’ features, group structures, levels of activism and explicit interest in public affairs expressed within these groups. Invitations to participate in the Survey were issued via Facebook Messenger exclusively to RDFGs administrators. The participants reported that their groups were mainly top-down informal structures. They stressed the apolitical profiles of the groups they administer although some reported that the critique of homeland politicians constituted significant discussion threads and said that members often organise offline events that could be described as political. Some respondents reported instances of “political revolts” within groups, in which the ordinary members (OMs) initiated critical dialogues on the group’s walls which questioned the positions of the admins. Interestingly, an illusory sense of superiority was revealed in the administrators’ responses as compared to their evaluation of the interests of the OMs, as well as a state of ambivalence in relation to the censorship practices and workload linked to their administrative roles.

Keywords: immigration; diaspora; social networks; censorship; e-democracy

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About the article

Received: 2018-04-17

Accepted: 2018-11-29

Published Online: 2018-12-31

Published in Print: 2018-12-01


Citation Information: Open Cultural Studies, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 723–734, ISSN (Online) 2451-3474, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2018-0065.

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© by Teodor Ajder, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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