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Smos, Cyberactivism, And Entertainment As Politics: How Moveon Is Expanding Public Discourse And Political Struggle

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Chapter Summary

Some of the most effective grassroots organizing is developing exclusively online, and therefore an examination of electronic social movement organizations (SMOs) and their tactics can help refine our understanding of contemporary social movements. This chapter uses a critical theory framework to examine the ways in which MoveOn has used the Internet and alternative media (including forms of entertainment) to fuse contentious politics with institutional means of reform via the electoral process. It argues that new information communication technologies (ICTs) and novel repertoires of grassroots mobilization are helping to decolonize public opinion by expanding public discourse. The chapter incorporates aspects of new social movement (NSM) theories that focus on new sources of collective identity, values, tactics, and organization features among activists and SMOs in conjunction with recent theories regarding the Internets impact on political struggle.

Keywords: cyberactivism; entertainment; grassroots mobilization; information communication technologies (ICTs); MoveOn; new social movement (NSM); political struggle; public discourse; social movement organizations (SMOs)



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