Collective Identification, High Risk Protest, and Social Media Use in the Occupy Wall Street Movement
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Existing literature suggests that online spaces may be less effective than face-to-face communication at promoting a sense of collective identification among social movement participants. These studies, however, do not take into consideration how this effect varies according to the online platform used. Furthermore, considerations of how online communication influences symbolic interpretations of the movement often do not empirically link these interpretations to differences in protest outcomes. Using data collected from Occupy Wall Street supporters, this study will explore the way in which mode of communication influences the degree to which movement participants are able to develop a sense of collective identification by analyzing how a.) reasons for participation and b.) engagement in high risk protest activities vary according to the mode of communication used by the participant to gather news about the movement. These outcomes are intended to help social scientists better understand how the use of technology that seems to lower the cost of communication between social movement supporters impacts symbolic motivations for participation and protest outcomes related to these symbolic interpretations.
- Sociology