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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Digital communication technologies are modifying how social movements communicate internally and externally and the way participants are organized and mobilized. This transformation calls for a rethinking of how we conceive of and analyze them. Scholars cannot be content with studying the digital and the physical or the online and the offline separately, but must explore the imbrication between these aspects by studying how the elements of social movements combine in a political “ensemble,” an ecosystem, or an action texture, defining the possibilities and limits of collective action. This chapter proposes a qualitative methodology combining analysis of digital media with observations of events and interviews with participants to develop a holistic account of collective action. This methodology is best positioned to capture the changing nature and meaning of protest action in a digital era, producing a “thick account” of the relationship between digital politics and everyday life.

Keywords: digital protest, social media, social movements, data analytics, online ethnography

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