The Influence of Social Media on Collective Action in the Context of Digital Activism: An Affordance Approach

Date
2018-01-03
Authors
Ahuja, Manju
Patel, Pankaj
Suh, Ayoung
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Abstract
This study examines how social media influence collective action in the context of digital activism. This is achieved by using the concept of media affordance as a theoretical lens and applying it to the collective purposes of network building and synthesis, as suggested by mobilization theory. Employing latent class logit regression, we tested the proposed hypotheses based on data from 384 digital activism events in 100 countries, classifying success in digital activism as either partial or complete success. The results show that when the purpose of digital activism is network building, media with greater affordances for promoting environmental shaping were positively related to the success of digital activism. Conversely, when the purpose of digital activism is synthesis, media with greater affordances for promoting contagion were positively related to the success of digital activism.
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Keywords
Social Movements and Social Technologies, Digital activism, collective action, social media affordance, social homogenity
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