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Digital (Social Movement) Scenes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Cultural Matters)
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, I expand the concept of a social movement scene by applying it to the context of digital activism. Research and theory about digital activism are broadly split into two camps: crowd-based models of activism structured and organized by networked communication; and models which theorize the importance of groups of activists and media ecologies. These two camps are often split methodologically between large-N network analyses and ethnographies, respectively, and often treated as non-overlapping magisteria. I argue that they are part of a single model. I offer, therefore, a way to conceptually bridge these two research trajectories: digital scenes. I define scenes as networks of people and places with overarching (sub)cultural intersubjectivity and localized idiocultural performances. I exemplify how researchers can use this analytically by applying it to the difficult-to-define, but rather ‘purely’ digital phenomenon of Anonymous. Understanding Anonymous as a scene clarifies Anonymous as a case and emphasizes the role of prefiguration, social relays and personal contacts for understanding digital activism. Finally, I conclude that scenes are useful because they are a scalable analytical tool that can help researchers focus on relations within and between movements, bridging micro-analysis of unique movement groups with overarching sociocultural formations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
social movements, digital activism, connective action, scenes, Anonymous, media ecologies, sociological theory
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401717DiVA, id: diva2:1383773
Conference
Critical Digital and Social Media Research 2019, Umeå, March 6-8, 2019
Available from: 2020-01-08 Created: 2020-01-08 Last updated: 2020-01-08

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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf