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Social scientists have long argued documentary films are powerful tools for social change.
But a University of Iowa (UI) sociologist and his co-researchers are the first to use the Internet and social media to systematically show how a documentary film reshaped public perception and ultimately led to municipal bans on hydraulic fracking.
Protests that bring many people to the streets who agree among themselves and have a single message are most likely to influence elected officials, suggests a new study.
“We found that features of a protest can alter the calculations of politicians and how they view an issue,” said Ruud Wouters, an assistant professor of political communication and journalism at the University of Amsterdam and the lead author of the study. “More specifically, the number of participants and unity are the characteristics of a protest that have the greatest ability to change politicians’ opinions.”
More than 5,500 sociologists will convene in Montreal this August to explore scientific research relating to social inequality and many other topics, as part of the American Sociological Association’s 112th Annual Meeting. This year’s theme, “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe,” draws attention to the nexus of culture, inequalities, and group boundaries in order to promote greater social inclusion and resilience, collective well-being, and solidarity in Canada, the United States, and globally.