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Title: Power to the Tweeple? : the role of social media in the bridging and setting of boundaries in collective action
Author: Wilkins, Denise Joy
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 3044
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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Social media is increasingly used for social protest, but does online participation advance the aims of social movements, or does it undermine efforts for social change? We explore this question in the present thesis by examining how the use of social media for collective action shapes, and is shaped by, the social psychological concerns of technology users. Adopting a diverse approach in terms of research questions and methodology, we examine how collective action is affected by: (1) features of the digital environment, (2) internet-enabled modes of participation, and (3) digitally-facilitated communities. Our findings demonstrate that group-level representations of the self and salient others are integral to the relationship between digital technology and collective action. Ultimately, we argue that digital technology can act as both a psychological bridge and barrier between disparate groups and issues; in this way it can both facilitate and undermine mobilisation efforts and broader aims for social change.
Supervisor: Levine, Mark ; Livingstone, Andrew Sponsor: DSTL
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Collective action ; activism ; protest ; social media ; digital technology ; social identity theory