What is the Role of Social Media in Establishing a Chain of Equivalence between Activists Participating in Protest Movements?

Wei Ling Nien 1 *
More Detail
1 The London School of Economics and Political Science, Taiwan
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp. 182-215. https://doi.org/10.29333/ojcmt/2606
OPEN ACCESS   2472 Views   4590 Downloads   Published online: 26 Jul 2017
Download Full Text (PDF)

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the role of social media in establishing a chain of equivalence between activists participating in protest movements. Applying Diani’s network approach as the theoretical framework and introducing the concept of Laclau and Mouffe (1985) ‘the chain of equivalence’ in social movement studies. It is a discursive formation on how each chain is different and how the chains work together to oppose hegemony (common enemy i.e. the state, authority or stakeholder). This project consists of 9 interviews with a chronic interest in participating in protests movements in Taiwan. The method is applied together with social network analysis to draw a graph to depict the overlapping concept provided by the activist’s map. By combining the two methods together, the researcher is able to reach a better understanding of the way activists build their network. The result shows that the importance of social media is when building network connections between activists, through building the chain of equivalence, protest movements can easily work together online and offline become allian to opposed the common enemy. The links are able to constitute outside for information to spread over. Through social network links they are able to establish ‘the chain of equivalence’ in protest movements. While social media plays a vital role in protest movements, the network ties between activists should also be taken into account.

CITATION

Nien, W. L. (2017). What is the Role of Social Media in Establishing a Chain of Equivalence between Activists Participating in Protest Movements?. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 7(3), 182-215. https://doi.org/10.29333/ojcmt/2606

REFERENCES

  • Kavanaugh, A. L., Reese, D. D., Carroll, J. M., & Rosson, M. B. (2005). Weak Ties in Networked Communities, The Information Society: An International Journal, 21(2), 119-131.
  • Butler, J., Laclau, E., & Žižek, S. (2000). Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues On The Left. London and New York: Verso.
  • Carpentier, N., & Cammaerts, B. (2006). Hegemony, democracy, agonism and journalism: an interview with Chantal Mouffe. Journalism Studies, 7(6), 964-975.
  • Carpentier, N., Rico, L., & Servaes, J. (2003). Community Media: muting the democratic media discourse? Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 17(1), 51-68.
  • Cammaerts, B. (forthcoming). Technologies of self-mediation: Affordances and constraints of social media for protest movements. In J. Uldam & A. Vestergaard (Eds.), Civic engagement and social media – Political participation beyond the protest. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Cammaerts, B. (2012). Protest Logics and the Mediation Opportunity Structure. European Journal of Communication, 27(2), 117-134.
  • Cammaerts, B. (2013). The mediation of insurrectionary symbolic damage: the 2010 UK student protests. The international journal of press/politics, online.
  • Cammaerts, B. Mattoni, A., & McCurdy, P. (eds.) (2013). Mediation and protest movements. Bristol, UK. Diani, M., & MacAdam, D. (Eds.) (2003). Social movements and networks: Relational approaches to collective action. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Della Porta, D., & Diani, M. (2006). Social Movements: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Diani, M. (2011). Networks and Internet into Perspective.Swiss Political ScienceReview, 17(4), 469-474.
  • Diani, M. (1997). Social Movements and Social Capital: A Network Perspective on Movement Outcomes. Mobilization: An International Journal, 2(2), 129-147.
  • Deacon, etd. (1999). Researching communications: A practical guide to methods in media and cultural analysis. London: Arnold.
  • Evelien, O., & Ronald, R. (2002). Social network analysis: a powerful strategy, also for the information sciences. Journal of Information Science, 28(6), 441-453.
  • Freeman, L. C. (n.d.). Visualizing Social Networks. Retrieved from http://carnap.ss.uci.edu/vis.html
  • Haythornthwaite, C. (2005). Social networks and Internet connectivity effects. Information, Communication & Society, 8(2), 125-147.
  • Hermanns, H. (2008). Mobile democracy: Mobile phones as democratic tools. Politics, 28(2), 74-82.
  • van Dijck, J. (2013). The culture of connectivity: a critical history of social media. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Kvale, S. (1996). InterViews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. SAGE Publications: London.
  • Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985).Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. London: Verso.
  • Leurs, R. (2009).The 'chain of equivalence'. Cultural studies and Laclau & Mouffe's discourse. Politics and Culture.
  • Malinick T. E., et al. (2011). Network centrality and social movement media coverage: A two Model network analytic approach. Soc. Netw. https://doi.org/10.1006/j.socnet.2011.10.005
  • Purcell, M. (n.d.). Chains of Equivalence. Retrieved from http://www.thepolisblog.org/2013/12/mark-purcellon-chains-of-equivalence.html
  • Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370- 396. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0054346
  • Robson, C. (2011). Real World Research (3rd ed.). Chichester: Wiley.
  • Wasserman, S. (1994). Social network analysis: methods and applications. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Thompson, J. (1995). The Media and Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Tarrow, S. (1998). Power in Movement: Social Movements, Collective Action and Mass Politics in the Modern State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.