Cities as Communicative Change Agents
Edited By erin daina mcclellan, Yongjun Shin and Curry Chandler
8. Talking to Urban People: An Exploration of Farmers’ Social Media Storytelling Strategies: JIN-AE KANG, EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY, U.S. & BRITTANY M. W. THOMPSON, EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY, U.S.
8. Talking to Urban People: An Exploration of Farmers’ Social Media Storytelling Strategies
JIN-AE KANG & BRITTANY M. W. THOMPSON
This chapter explores how farmer bloggers serve as agents of change with use of social media storytelling strategy, and reduce the urban-rural divide. The study examined farmers’ motives for becoming social media storytellers; the outcomes of such storytelling in fostering dialogues between farmers and publics that go beyond farming and trust in food production; and the role of social media communication in reducing the rural-urban divide. In-depth interviews revealed that the interviewees believed storytelling helps them to keep transparent and accountable on agriculture issues. Interviewees believed that storytelling facilitates dialogue and promotes understanding even when farmers cannot change the perception of urban publics who already have a negative viewpoint on agriculture. Farmers realize that social media storytelling practices expand networks and build solidarity with farmers at the local, regional, and national level. The study also shows how digital media enables publics to use storytelling tactics as a grassroots advocacy tool. The shared stories contribute to conversations that connect urban and rural people and eventually build trust in society.
Keywords: urban-rural divide, social media, storytelling, public relations, dialogues, engagement, advocacy, in-depth interviews and agriculture
Scholars and policymakers have witnessed a widening urban-rural divide as big cities have driven industrialization and created the cultural and political mainstream. Rural America is often left behind in terms of economic development and...
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