WhatsApp group as a shared resource for coping with political violence: The case of mothers living in an ongoing conflict area

Yuval Roitman, Daphna Yeshua-Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years, mobile media applications have become a significant resource for crisis communication and communal coping during natural disasters and wars. Drawing on communal coping and media affordance research, we examined the roles that a WhatsApp group plays for mothers living in an ongoing conflict area. We examined, through in-depth interviews, a local WhatsApp group operating in a community adjacent to the Israel–Gaza border. Findings revealed the unique emotion-focused and problem-focused coping strategies people use when facing ongoing threats. Four affordances—immediacy, reachability, mobility, and multimediality—contributed to WhatsApp’s role as a shared and ubiquitous coping resource. This study demonstrates the ways in which instant messaging communication affordances contribute to communal coping strategies in ongoing conflict areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalMobile Media and Communication
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Mobile media apps
  • WhatsApp
  • affordances
  • communal coping
  • crisis communication
  • online communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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