Digital activism: Addressing social movements in the digital age

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Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Political Science
Faculty Mentor Claudio Holzner
Creator Sibbernsen, Colin
Title Digital activism: Addressing social movements in the digital age
Year graduated 2012
Date 2012-05
Description Technological progression in the area of information and communication technology allows for expansion of prior social movement theorizing. The ways in which social movements are organized and carried out today need to be carefully analyzed and discussed to identify new methods of organization and mobilization of social movements as influenced by progression in information and communication technology (ICTs). This paper addresses how progression in ICTs is affecting social movements. In order to do this, I describe the evolution and progression of social movement theory beginning in the early twentieth century. This discussion illustrates how social movements and subsequent social movement theories reflect their socio-historical context and intellectual climates. I establish a broad framework based on mobilizing structures, opportunity structures, and framing processes to consider how digital forms of activism fit within existing social movement theories. Next, I describe various forms of digital activism and show how these new forms have implications on costs of participation, necessity of copresence and importance of social movement organizations (SMOs). I describe how new forms of digital activism beckon consideration of a new digital repertoire of contention. Ultimately, I conclude that progression in ICTs and the ways they are employed by activists create a continuum of possibilities for social movements today and into the future. On the one hand, advanced knowledge of ICTs and their possibilities allows for more technologically savvy activists to create fundamentally new means of protest. On the other, integrating these technologies into theoretical frameworks strengthens and builds upon existing social movement theories.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Technology - Sociological aspects
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Colin Sibbernsen
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 243,679 bytes
Permissions Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=1307491
ARK ark:/87278/s6ps1577
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2016-10-18
Date Modified 2019-07-11
ID 205806
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6ps1577
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