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Inquiry Project: Part A Rebecca Teich Question: What are the implications and effects of the relationship between

social media (Web 2.0) and social issues? Social media, a fundamental crux of the recently-created Web 2.0, has inundated a large chunk of the globe, drastically altered the way we understand interaction, communication, and connection, and has arguably even altered the way we are able to understand our own presence and sense of self through the constant choices we make concerning what our audience perceives from us. Yet beyond this, social media has become a platform for the dissemination of news, current events, opinions, and more with which individuals chose to engage with social issues of the time in front of a known audience or to share articles and information with that audience. Oftentimes this serves as an extremely beneficial way for those that otherwise would not have a voice to contribute to the broader conversation and to self-educate. However, the presenting of opinions and the open sharing of knowledge and beliefs manifests has, in my mind, evolved into a beast that is a far cry from a platform of open discourse and the distributing of knowledge that many at times claim it to be. From hash-tag activism of various twitter campaigns to he slacktivism of changing ones profile picture to suit the liberal ideology of their social sphere without research into the campaign theyre endorsing to sharing articles without concern for the validity of the facts within it, it comes to light that social media has begun to transform social issues and stances into a commodity cultural capital to be exchanged and collected for social gain. In order to better understand the implications of this phenomena I would like to look at texts that

tackle the idea of cultural commodification, cultural capital, and the culture industry, particularly through the lens of various critical theory texts such as The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord and The Dialectic of Enlightenment by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno. In addition I will look at more contemporary analyses and applications of the dialectical and theoretic framework these thinkers provide. I also would also like to refer to the anthology Signs of Life In The USA. I believe this will give me a degree of specificity in how to approach the implications I want to explore, through the lens of a Marxist critique with an addition of semiotic analysis. From here, I would like to do a case study of either one or a few different examples of transforming social issues into cultural capital through social media source and apply the framework of thought explored in the theoretical texts to the example in order to gain greater insight into the societal implications of this phenomena in order to seek an answer to my framing question.