Digital Campus Culture: Diversity, Inclusivity and Social Media
Social media platforms provide environments in which students from diverse backgrounds socialise, debate and share knowledge. At the same time, the value of such environments can be undermined by various forms of aggression and bigotry. Problems of online bullying, harassment and incivility present particular challenges for universities striving to foster an environment that is welcoming, inclusive and respectful. A range of official and unofficial online environments have become extensions of institutional culture, yet they cannot be regulated in the same manner as physical campus environments. This paper examines ways in which modes of racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice are propagated, normalised and sometimes challenged within universities' social media spaces. These groups show a marked difference in levels of debate and interpersonal engagement, such that in some cases, instances of racism, sexism and homophobia can lead to critical deliberation, while in others such bigotry goes unchecked.
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