Social media for social change: Developing social media strategies to influence negative cultural assumptions
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 09:19 by Zeelaf Majeed
This research explores how social media can effectively be used by community activists to influence negative cultural assumptions. This study focused on challenging stereotypical attitudes towards Muslim women who wear hijab. Ten participants responded to a pre-campaign survey, which gathered their attitudes towards head coverings, specifically people in baseball caps (non-religious headgear) and hijabs (Muslim headscarf). Participants then followed a two- week social media campaign, developed with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (Toronto chapter), that addressed common assumptions about women in hijab, and answered a post-campaign survey to assess the campaign’s impact. Seven participants said the campaign successfully challenged negative stereotypes about women who wear hijab, and five said the campaign positively influenced their ideas about this cultural group. Participants said the profiles of successful women who wear hijab were most effective, which seems to indicate that positive stories may have more impact in creating social change.