Hashtag activism : assessing the perceived value of online activism campaigns among UKZN (PMB) students.
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The phenomenon of online activism is relatively new and thus, there is little in the way of research on the subject, particularly in the African and, more specifically, the South African context. This dissertation aims to analyse the emotional reactions and behaviours of students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) regarding online activism. To do this, this dissertation focuses on the concepts of the public sphere, networks, participatory culture and activism, both traditional and online, discussing how these concepts have evolved and how they intermingle in order to allow for online activism to be a viable form of activism. In order to analyse this, data collected from students will be analysed and discussed in relation to the aforementioned concepts. From this, conclusions will be drawn relating to whether students engage in online activism, whether students believe online activism is a meaningful form of engagement or whether they believe it to be a lazy substitution as critics do and finally, whether students believe online activism is capable of creating tangible change in the real-world.