Social Media and New Protest Movements
Poell, Thomas & José van Dijck (2018). Social Media and new protest movements. In The SAGE Handbook of Social Media, 546-561, edited by Jean Burgess, Alice Marwick & Thomas Poell. London: Sage, Forthcoming.
17 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 21, 2017
This chapter discusses how the intensive use of social media transforms the organization and communication of protest. The starting point of this discussion is to question the idea that traditional modes of organization in social movements (with structural features like identifiable leaders and persistent collective identities) have been largely replaced by more distributed and emergent mass user activity enabled by social media platforms. We will show how this argument has been questioned and complicated from two angles. First, through detailed studies on social media protest practices, researchers have demonstrated that leadership and collective identities continue to play a vital role in online contention. Second, based on the exploration of the techno-commercial architecture of social media, it has been argued that these platforms not only enable activist social media activity, but also fundamentally shape it.
Keywords: social media, protest, social movements, leadership, collective identity, connective action
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