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Notes on Loader (2008) Social movements and new media

June 23, 2010

Loader, Brian D. 2008 Social movements and new media, Sociology Compass, 2/6, 1920-1933.

Social movements (SMs) are not organisations, much more fluid, changeable, no membership, people often belong to more than one, etc, p. 1921

Definition of structure of SMs: ‘informal networks of autonomous individuals, groups and organisations’, p. 1922

Castells’ network society thesis provides useful framework. Movements more transnational, less place-based, as Castells shows, p. 1924, p. 1928 [not necessarily so, see my work on suburban activism in Malaysia, this blog]

Growth of individualism (Giddens, Beck)  and more identity and lifestyle-based SMs (gender, sexuality, disability, environment …), away from class-based politics of previous era, p. 1924

Good match between cultural framing and identity projects increasingly crucial for SMs, p. 1926

Protests increasingly media events, protester media-conscious, p. 1929

Activists have to contend with ever more crowded media landscape – this can in fact benefit the more established media orgs; challenge for SMs is how to produce content that mainstream media will pick up in fiercely competitive media ecology, p. 1927

Culture jamming, hacktivism, p. 1929

In future we’ll see rich articulation of online & offline practices, more complementary, p. 1931

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