Social media's impact on civic engagement in Mexico
Hopf, Aries C.
Mabry, Tristan James
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Since the advent of the Internet, Mexico has embraced and utilized social media at a dramatically increasing rate. Today, 54 million Mexican citizens collaborate via online communities more avidly than those in some developed countries. But has the increase in social media activity fostered civic engagement in Mexico? This thesis argues that it predominately has. Specifically, social media has increased civic awareness, broadened collective action, and strengthened political activism in Mexico. However, one aspect of civic engagement social media has yet to change is Mexico's collective identity. This thesis analyzes the 1968 Tlatelolco student movement and the 1985 Mexico City earthquake's social mobilizations as catalyst events for the birth of civil society. Society rallied to establish a myriad of social and political organizations built to foster citizenry and community. The Internet revolution in the early 1990s further opened platforms for activists to engage in and campaign on issues important to them. The success of Twitter movements #NoteAnules, #InternetNecesario, and #AyotzinapaSomosTodos instilled confidence in the effectiveness of social media as a tool for activism. Through understanding of social media, engaged e-citizens can continue to make informed political decisions, increase social capital of the nation, and bring Mexico closer to being a liberal democratic nation.
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