How the Internet Shapes Collective Actions

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-12-03
  • Publisher: Palgrave Pivot
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After a Facebook rebellion in Egypt and Twitter protests in Turkey, the internet has been proclaimed as a globe-shifting, revolutionizing force that can incite complex social phenomena such as collective actions. This book critically assesses this claim and highlights how internet use amplifies and shapes established mobilizing processes to foster collective actions. With a review of the current academic literature on the topic, as well as insights from popular science, practitioners, and activists, Schumann draws upon interdisciplinary empirical evidence to propose that the internet encourages self-organized, personalized collective actions. The research presented here demonstrates how internet-enabled technologies offer an infrastructure for online collective actions that expand individuals' repertoires of contention, as well as how specific types of internet use—in particular information gathering and discussions online—promote offline engagement.

Author Biography

Sandy Schumann is Affiliated Researcher at Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and Visiting Post-doctoral Researcher at the Oxford Centre for the Study of Intergroup Conflict, University of Oxford, UK. Her work explores the relation between digital practices and offline behavior, focusing in particular on dynamics of collective actions, as well as radicalization processes on the internet and the benefits of computer-mediated intergroup contact.

Table of Contents

1. How the Internet Promotes Self-organized Collective Actions
2. How Internet Use Incites Offline Collective Actions
3. The Internet as a Platform for Online Collective Actions
4. How Cause-related, Advocacy, and Social Movement Organizations Use the Internet to Promote Collective Actions
5. How the Internet Shapes Collective Actions in the Future

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