Social Justice through Social Media Pop Cultures

Download the report (PDF).

‘Social Justice Through Social Media Pop Cultures’ is a public scholarship project launched by the TikTok Cultures Research Network, and Social Media Pop Cultures Programme at CCAT, Curtin University. In continuation of TCRN’s 4th event, TikTok and Social Movements, held in September 2021, we have identified and curated ways of thinking about public scholarship to aid our understanding of the key themes, genres, and features of various movements for social (in)justice on social media. This resource is currently limited to English language sources, though we have extended our efforts to consider a myriad of case studies and resources especially focused on the Asia Pacific region, where we are based.


The production of this Resource is funded by Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) Grant Success Panel (GSP) Development Funding from Curtin University, and Strategic Investment Funding from the Faculty of Humanities at Curtin University. It follows from the TikTok Cultures Research Network’s inaugural public resource, TikTok Syllabus: Teaching Socio-cultural Issues on TikTok, published in December 2021. This can be found at: https://tiktokculturescom/syllabus2021/. Both resources take inspiration from ‘Critical Disinformation Studies: A Syllabus’, authored by Alice Marwick, Rachel Kuo, Shanice Jones Cameron, and Moira Weigel, and launched by the Centre for Information, Technology, & Public Life (CITAP) at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2021. See the syllabus at We also wish to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we live and work, and pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our communities and their Elders, past, present, and emerging.

Special thanks to Research Assistants Carolyn West, Eva Birch, and Joseph Comer for their contributions, and Illustrator Ardine Keyla for this commissioned graphic design.


This resource seeks to consider the various aspects, angles, and conceptual synonyms to better understand social justice pursuits on social media. This resource comprises two parts: (1) Conceptual glossary and (2) Readings & resources. Our aim is that this resource can serve as a gateway for scholars wanting to explore research angles on the topic, and as a suggested guide for educators wanting to teach on the topic through a combination of scholarly material and popular media examples.

Part 1: Conceptual Glossary

  • Background
  • Conceptualising ‘social justice’
  • Conceptualising ‘social movements’
  • Conceptualising ‘social media pop cultures’
  • Reflections
  • TCRN Priority Themes

Part 2: Readings and Resources

  • Resource themes
  • 01 Race & Ethnicity
  • 02 Gender & Sexuality
  • 03 Age & Generations
  • 04 Health & Wellbeing
  • 05 The Subaltern & Subcultures
  • 06 Politics & Movements


Abidin, Crystal, and Lee, Jin. 2022. Social Justice Through Social Media Pop Cultures: Case Studies And Reading Resources On Influencers And TikTok. TikTok Cultures Research Network (TCRN) & Social Media Pop Cultures Programme, Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT), Curtin University.