THE POWER OF ASSOCIATIONS. SOCIAL MEDIA AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: FACEBOOK IN THE INTERACTIONS OF SOCIAL MOVEMENT ORGANIZATIONS
Baron, Luis Fernando
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There are many indications that social mobilization and political participation have been transformed by Information Communication Technologies (ICT), and, more recently, by Social Media. In spite of many studies which have attempted to grapple with their interrelationship, we still know little about the degree and complexity of those interactions. In this study I lay three interactional frameworks against one another to help unlock ICT, social mobilization and political participation in a new way: * New Social Movements Approach; * Actor-Network Theory (ANT); and * Multi-sited ethnography This research is an exploration of social movements as they interact with Facebook, and an examination of the mediations of Facebook in the information and communication practices, identities, and performativity with three Social Movement Organizations (SMO) in Washington State: OneAmerica, Latino Civic Alliance and Entre Hermanos. The SMOs are linked with the immigration reform movement across the United States. The data was collected through (a) participatory observations of face-to-face interactions; (b) in-depth interviews with SMOs staff; (c) online surveys focused on SMOs beneficiaries; and (d) observations of technologically mediated interactions. Content analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data collected, as well as to present the results. The main findings of this study show that Facebook, by itself, has not transformed the SMOs' practices and collective actions. However Facebook has helped to enable three types of mediations in the SMOs' interactions, which in turn shows a potential (1) to transform and legitimize their ways of producing and sharing information, to legitimate the cycle of information; (2) to forge the narratives and collective identities of SMOs' participants, to access a threshold scenario for voice-building; and (3) to strengthen the expression and participation of youth as key agents in the performativity of SMOs, to create a social space for youth expression and socio-political participation.
- Information science 
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