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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Véron Ophélie

Literature on social movements increasingly identifies everyday life as significant to understand political practices and activism. However, scholars have retained a major…

Abstract

Purpose

Literature on social movements increasingly identifies everyday life as significant to understand political practices and activism. However, scholars have retained a major bias towards movement mobilisation and collective action, often relegating the everyday at the margins of social movements. While there have been notable exceptions, with studies of prefigurative activism and everyday practices of social change, they have usually focussed on alternative community spaces such as autonomous social centres and protest camps, and paid less attention to “ordinary” practices and spaces of activism. The purpose of this paper is to address these problems by suggesting that everyday life may be central to the production of activist spaces and the action of social movements.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing upon ethnography methods, interviews with vegan activists, an on-line survey of supporters of vegan movements and an examination of on-line vegan forums, it seeks to analyse the practices of the vegan movement in France.

Findings

This paper attempts to demonstrate that prefigurative activism and seemingly banal practices may be central to strategies for social change. Drawing on an anarchist perspective on activism, it further suggests that activism and everyday life should not be studied in isolation from each other but as mutually constitutive in the creation of everyday alternative spaces – hemeratopias.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the literature on activism and social movements by offering a more complex picture of the spatial politics at work in social movements and a better understanding of individual action and mobilisation.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Jessica Emma McLean and Sara Fuller

A recent mainstream intervention in Australia involved the creation of a climate change communication institution, the Climate Council, from crowdfunding and support in…

Abstract

Purpose

A recent mainstream intervention in Australia involved the creation of a climate change communication institution, the Climate Council, from crowdfunding and support in social media. Such digital action invites further examination of supporters’ motivations. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the reported intentions and interests of the Climate Council’s supporters to gain a better understanding of mainstream climate change action in digital spaces.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports on a survey that was undertaken by the Climate Council with their Founding Friends that sought to understand their motivations for supporting the institution. The survey received over 10,000 responses. From four selected questions, the paper considers all of the quantitative responses while a random sample of 100 responses was taken from the qualitative data.

Findings

The data show that most Climate Council supporters were motivated to maintain an institution that communicates the impacts of climate change while a minority desired more political engagement by the institution. The results capture an example of action with limited conscious activism.

Originality/value

Digital spaces fundamentally need the interconnections between people in order to function, in a similar way to physical spaces. Nonetheless, the power of online action, in all its contradictory forms, should not be overlooked in considering the range of possibilities available to those interested in effecting meaningful social change. Even mainstream interventions, as presented in this paper, that seem to disavow climate change activism on the whole, can nevertheless produce institutional changes that defy national governance shifts.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 12 September 2017

Jason Nunzio Dorio

In this chapter, I will first conceptualize social movement theory before examining the importance of student movements and student activism. I then will link social…

Abstract

In this chapter, I will first conceptualize social movement theory before examining the importance of student movements and student activism. I then will link social movement theory to the university in Egypt. Next, I will contextualize university activism by describing the authoritarian structures of Egypt’s university system. Then, using secondary data sources, I will characterize university activism during the three transitional political periods (under the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SACF), under President Morsi, and after the ousting of Morsi), and conclude with a discussion on the implications of student activism on future university reform.

Details

The Power of Resistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-462-6

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Rachel Loney-Howes

Abstract

Details

Online Anti-Rape Activism: Exploring the Politics of the Personal in the Age of Digital Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-442-7

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Book part
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Mariann Hardey

Abstract

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The Culture of Women in Tech
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-426-3

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Abstract

Details

Nirbhaya, New Media and Digital Gender Activism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-529-8

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Rachel Loney-Howes

Abstract

Details

Online Anti-Rape Activism: Exploring the Politics of the Personal in the Age of Digital Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-442-7

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Alessandra Rosa

On December 14, 2010, University of Puerto Rico (UPR) student activists initiated the second wave of their strike at a disadvantage. The presence of the police force…

Abstract

Purpose

On December 14, 2010, University of Puerto Rico (UPR) student activists initiated the second wave of their strike at a disadvantage. The presence of the police force inside the campus raised the stakes for the student movement. No longer did student activists have the “legal rights” or control of the university as a physical public space to hold their assemblies and coordinate their different events. As a result, student activists had to improvise and (re)construct their spaces of resistance by using emotional narratives, organizing non-violent civil disobedience acts at public places, fomenting lobbying groups, disseminating online petitions, and developing alternative proposals to the compulsory fee. This second wave continued until March 2011, when it came to a halt after an incident that involved physical harassment to the Chancellor, Ana Guadalupe, during one of the student demonstrations. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on Ron Eyerman’s (2005, p. 53) analysis on “the role of emotions in social movements with the aid of performance theory,” the author center this paper on examining student activists’ tactics and strategies in the development and maintenance of their emotional narratives and internet activism. By adapting Joshua Atkinson’s (2010) concept of resistance performance, the author argues that student activists’ resistance performances assisted them in (re)framing their collective identities by (re)constructing spaces of resistance and contention while immersed in violent confrontations with the police.

Findings

Ever since the establishment of the university as an institution, student activism has played a key role in shaping the political policies and history of many countries; “today, student actions continue to have direct effects on educational institutions and on national and international politics” (Edelman, 2001, p. 3). Consequently, and especially in times of economic and political crisis, student activism has occupied and constructed spaces of resistance and contention to protest and reveal the existing repressions of neoliberal governments serving as a (re)emergence of an international social movement to guarantee the accessibility to a public higher education of excellence. Thus, it is important to remember that the 2010-2011 UPR student activism’s success should not be measured by the sum of demands granted, but rather by the sense of community achieved and the establishment of social networks that have continued to create resistance and change in the island.

Originality/value

As of yet there is no thorough published analysis of the 2010-2011 UPR student strike, its implications, and how the university community currently perceives it. By elaborating on the concept of resistance performance, the author’s study illustrates how both traditional and alternative media (re)presentations of student activism can develop, maintain, adjust, or change the students’ collective identity(ies). The author’s work not only makes Puerto Rico visible in the research concerning social movements, student activism, and internet activism; in addition, it provides resistance performance as a concept to describe various degrees of participation in current social movements.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 22 December 2017

Thomas V. Maher and Jennifer Earl

Growing interest in the use of digital technologies and a Putnam-inspired debate about youth engagement has drawn researchers from outside of the study of social movements…

Abstract

Growing interest in the use of digital technologies and a Putnam-inspired debate about youth engagement has drawn researchers from outside of the study of social movements into research on the topic. This interest in youth protest participation has, in turn, developed into a substantial area of research of its own. While offering important research contributions, we argue that these areas of scholarship are often not well grounded in classic social movement theory and research, instead focusing on new media and/or the relationship between activism and other forms of youth engagement. This chapter seeks to correct this by drawing on interviews with 40 high school and college students from a moderately sized southwestern city to examine whether traditional paths to youth activism (i.e., family, friends, and institutions) have changed or eroded as online technology use and extra-institutional engagement among youth has risen. We find that youth continue to be mobilized by supportive family, friends, and institutional opportunities, and that the students who were least engaged are missing these vital support networks. Thus, it is not so much that the process driving youth activism has changed, but that some youth are not receiving support that has been traditionally necessary to spur activism. This offers an important reminder for scholars studying youth and digital activism and youth participation more broadly that existing theory and research about traditional pathways to activism needs to be evaluated in contemporary research.

Details

Social Movements and Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-098-3

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Book part
Publication date: 2 March 2021

Jonathan S. Coley

Colleges and universities in the United States are common sites of social movement activism, yet we know little about the conditions under which campus-based movements are…

Abstract

Colleges and universities in the United States are common sites of social movement activism, yet we know little about the conditions under which campus-based movements are likely to meet with success or failure. In this study, I develop the concept of educational opportunity structures, and I highlight several dimensions of colleges and universities' educational opportunity structures – specifically, schools' statuses as public or private, secular or religious, highly or lowly ranked, and more or less wealthy – that can affect the outcomes of campus-based movements. Analyzing a religious freedom movement at Vanderbilt University, which mobilized from 2010 to 2012 to demand the ability of religious student organizations to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religious belief, I argue that Vanderbilt's status as a private, secular, elite, and wealthy university ensured that conservative Christian activism at that school was highly unlikely to succeed. The findings hold important theoretical implications for the burgeoning literature on student activism.

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