Digital technology and voice: how platforms shape institutional processes through visibilization

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Gümüsay, AA 
Raynard, M 
Albu, A 
Etter, M 

Digital technologies, and the affordances they provide, can shape institutional processes in significant ways. In the last decade, social media and other digital platforms have redefined civic engagement by enabling new ways of connecting, collaborating, and mobilizing. In this article, we examine how technological affordances can both enable and hinder institutional processes through visibilization—which we define as the enactment of technological features to foreground and give voice to particular perspectives and discourses while silencing others. We study such dynamics by examining #SchauHin, an activist campaign initiated in Germany to shine a spotlight on experiences of daily racism. Our findings show how actors and counter-actors differentially leveraged the technological features of two digital platforms to shape the campaign. Our study has implications for understanding the role of digital technologies in institutional processes as well as the interplay between affordances and visibility in efforts to deinstitutionalize discriminatory practices and institutions

44 Human Society, 35 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services, 4410 Sociology, 3507 Strategy, Management and Organisational Behaviour
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Research in the Sociology of Organizations
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we would like to thank the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society for open access funding support.