Signs of a Generational Change in Social Movements—Activists’ Use of Modern Information and Communication Technologies
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Hanyang University
Publication date: 2014-09-30
Polish Sociological Review 2014;187(3):261–290
In this study I explore the use (and the non-use) of ICTs in the broad survey on their use by modern social movements, providing data on the demographics of the movements and their activists worldwide, and on the use (and non-use) of the ICTs. Based on four online surveys (including international, local US and Polish), data on distribution of social movement organizations, age of organizations and activists, numbers of activists and supporters, and organization goals are presented. Analysis of the diffusion and use of specific new ICTs follows. The research questions revolve around the blurring boundaries between members and non-members (unofficial supporters and volunteers) and the specifics of the use of new media (by whom and for what) with particular focus on the importance of organizational and membership age. The findings with regards to the use of modern ICTs show the success (wide diffusion and estimates of empowerment) of email, static websites, phones and social networking, contrasted with the relatively poor performance of blogs, podcats and online petitions on the social movement scene.