Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
“Preaching to the Choir: Internet-Mediated Advocacy, Issue Public Mobilization and Climate Change” published by New Media & Society
Here’s a quick, long-overdue update: My first peer-reviewed article has just been published! It’s called Preaching to the Choir: Internet-Mediated Advocacy, Issue Public Mobilization and Climate Change, and it’s available now through New Media & Society’s ‘OnlineFirst’ service (subscription required). It will also be published as part of a regular issue at some point in the near future. There is also a pre-publication version available from SSRN–although if you’re going to cite, please cite the NM&S version. Here’s the abstract:
Despite the impact that Internet-mediated advocacy organizations have had on American politics over the last decade, we are still learning about how they work. This is even truer for Internet-mediated issue specialists that focus on a single issue, such as climate change. Based on interviews with key staff members of two climate change advocacy campaigns, this article examines how these organizations communicate and mobilize citizens around their issue and the underlying assumptions behind their strategies. Interviews revealed a focus on like-minded issue public mobilization and online-to-offline social movement building strategies. The paper also examines how these organizations can influence policy debates by mobilizing issue publics, shifting debates to more favorable public arenas, and reframing them in ways more favorable to their causes. Implications for the future of climate policy and Internet-mediated advocacy research are discussed.
If you have a chance to read the article, I’d love to get some feedback — not to mention citations, of course. Enjoy!
In a study of the 2003 anti-Iraq War global protests, Bennet, Breunig, and Givens (2008) argue that changes in social identity processes are leading individuals to seek less binding and more flexible relationships with organizations that provide support on issues that matter to them personally. This model of activism stands in contrast to the 1960s-70s era model, in which concerned citizens identified strongly with one issue and organization.
Single-issue organizations are still being formed today, of course, but our relationships to them are becoming looser and less hierarchical. Bennett and colleagues argue that these loose ties, along with a heavy reliance on online media for political information, account for the speed with which anti-war activists were able to organize back in 2003. It’s likely that these massive, multi-nation gatherings could not have been organized with the same speed and degree of coordination without the information technologies we have at our disposal today.