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Amy Mathers

Supervisors:

Dr Deirdre O'Loughlin & Dr Annmarie Ryan

Working Title of Thesis:

Influencing Sustainability: An Examination into Sustainable Influencers

Abstract

This research sets out to understand how social media influencers shape social movements, such as sustainability, in a way that encourages and promotes engagement and changes in consumer practices.  The United Nations Biodiversity report (2019) makes is clear that they environment is declining at unprecedented. Globally, people need to take swift, aggressive action to combat the damage and encourage action. Yet, encouraging people to engage in sustainable behaviour is arguably one of the biggest challenges facing our world today (White and Simpson 2013).  However, social media offers unparalleled opportunities for activists to communicate, organize and initiate new movements (Bosch 2017, Mentes 2019).
This study examines the vast network of actors involved in the challenges and successes of influencers attempting to encourage sustainable lifestyles and action in the fight against climate change.  Using netnography as the methodology, this study sets out to expand on the theoretical and practical understanding surrounding the dynamics of social media influencers and consumer social movements.