Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Technology as movement: on hybrid organizational types and the mutual constitution of movement identity and technological infrastructure in digital activism
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2016 (English)In: Convergence. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, ISSN 1354-8565, E-ISSN 1748-7382, Vol. 22, no 5, 524-542 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

New communication technologies bring about new ways for political groups and movements to mobilize and organize. A consequence of this might be that established interpretations of and attitudes towards social movements may have to be revisited, for example, when it comes to their internal constitution and their modes of working. This interview case study looks at the digital activist cluster Telecomix and its interventions during the Arab Spring. The study addresses how the network used technological and communicational infrastructures and platforms and how it was organizationally affected by these. By using concepts such as ‘one media bias’, ‘media ecology’, ‘hybridity’ and ‘cognitive praxis’, the article aims to conceptualize how the identity of a movement and its technological infrastructure mutually constitute each other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 22, no 5, 524-542 p.
Keyword [en]
Arab Spring, cognitive praxis, digital activism, hybridity, social movements, Telecomix
National Category
Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102490DOI: 10.1177/1354856515577921OAI: diva2:807989
Available from: 2015-04-27 Created: 2015-04-27 Last updated: 2016-09-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Digital media and the transnationalization of protests
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Digital media and the transnationalization of protests
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recent developments in communications technology have transformed how social movements might mobilize, and how they can organize their activities. This thesis explores some of the geographical consequences of the use of digital media for political activism. It does this by focusing on the transnationalization of protests. The aim is to analyse how movements with different organizational structures and political scopes are affected by their use of digital media. This is done with a specific focus on how digital media use influences or enables transnational modes of organization and activism. The thesis comprises four different case studies where each study examines a social movement with a specific organizational structure. There are, however, also important similarities between the movements. In each study, somewhat different perspectives and methodological approaches are used. Some of the methods used are semi-structured interviews, content analysis of written data (retrieved from Facebook as well as Twitter), and social network analysis.

The analysis indicates that digital media do have a role in the transnationalization of protest. This role, however, differs depending on what type of social movement one studies. The organizational structure of social movements, together with their specific forms of digital media use, influences how the transnationalization of protests and movements is articulated and formed. In cases where a social movement has a hierarchical organizational structure, there is less transnationalization, whereas in social movements with a more non-hierarchical organizational structure one sees more transnationalization. The thesis concludes that the transnationalization of protests is affected by social movements’ organizational structure. The more decentralized the social movement, the more vibrant the transnational public. In order to explain how transnational social movements, using digital media, can emerge in cases where geographical distances might make such coalitions unlikely, the thesis introduces the notion of affectual proximity. This concept helps us understand how transnational social movements, connecting actors from all over the world, can emerge through digital media. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2016. 57 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 77
Social movements, social media, digital media, digital activism, transnational activism, affectual proximity
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114456 (URN)978-91-7601-405-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-02-12, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2016-01-19 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Dahlberg-Grundberg, Michael
By organisation
Department of Sociology
In the same journal
Convergence. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
Communication Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 341 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link