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The logic of connective action: Digital media and the personalization of contentious politics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2012 (English)In: Information, Communication and Society, ISSN 1369-118X, E-ISSN 1468-4462, Vol. 15, no 5, 739-768 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

From the Arab Spring and los indignados in Spain, to Occupy Wall Street (and beyond), large-scale, sustained protests are using digital media in ways that go beyond sending and receiving messages. Some of these action formations contain relatively small roles for formal brick and mortar organizations. Others involve well-established advocacy organizations, in hybrid relations with other organizations, using technologies that enable personalized public engagement. Both stand in contrast to the more familiar organizationally managed and brokered action conventionally associated with social movement and issue advocacy. This article examines the organizational dynamics that emerge when communication becomes a prominent part of organizational structure. It argues that understanding such variations in large-scale action networks requires distinguishing between at least two logics that may be in play: The familiar logic of collective action associated with high levels of organizational resources and the formation of collective identities, and the less familiar logic of connective action based on personalized content sharing across media networks. In the former, introducing digital media do not change the core dynamics of the action. In the case of the latter, they do. Building on these distinctions, the article presents three ideal types of large-scale action networks that are becoming prominent in the contentious politics of the contemporary era.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 15, no 5, 739-768 p.
Keyword [en]
collective action, contentious politics, digital media
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79730DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2012.670661ISI: 000304470300008OAI: diva2:551890


Available from: 2012-09-12 Created: 2012-09-11 Last updated: 2015-08-19Bibliographically approved

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