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date: 08 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter examines two major impacts of increasingly pervasive information and communication technologies (ICT) usage, one on protest and social movements themselves and another on scholarship about these phenomena. For the former, we review research on ICT-enabled infrastructural changes within movements, including: (1) the introduction of new formats of protest and a new model of power; (2) the ability to organize outside of formal social movement organizations (SMOs) and/or within dramatically altered SMOs; and (3) the facilitation of transnational and non-Western protest and social movements. Regarding social movement scholarship, we argue that the information-saturated environments that social movements operate within increasingly require scholars to draw on political communication research. This connection may lead social movement scholars to complicate existing understandings (e.g., agenda setting), identify hitherto unexamined determinants of social movement effectiveness (e.g., priming), and add nuance to social movement scholars’ understanding of audiences and audience reception, among other topics.

Keywords: information communication technologies, internet, online protest, flash activism, social movement organizations, transnational protest, political communication, media effects, agenda setting, priming

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