Building an Infrastructural Praxis: Understanding Twitter's Embeddedness in the U.S.-Mexico Border

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2022-10-01
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In this article, we document how Twitter is embedded within the U.S.-Mexico border and used to reorganize the oppressive conditions perpetuated by the border’s sociopolitical history. We do so through a mixed-methods case-study of three polarized, yet tangled, activist movements on Twitter, each of which responded to Trump’s border wall plans and zero-tolerance policy that separated asylum-seeking im/migrant children from their families. The hashtag movements included the liberal #FamiliesBelongTogether supporters (FBT), Trump Republican #BuildTheWall supporters (BTW), and liberal Anti-Wall (AW) #NoBorderWall and #TrumpShutDown denouncers. Findings indicate how the liberal activist movements inherited systemic issues of the broader U.S.-Mexico border infrastructure. Overall, we call for TPC to continue developing research agendas that learn from social activist networks so the field can understand its role in shaping the broader media infrastructure.

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border rhetorics, communication design, infrastructure, matrix of domination, online activism, social justice, social network analysis, technical and professional communication
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