Portland State University. Department of Sociology
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology
1 online resource (v, 67 pages)
Activists are increasingly relying on online tactics and digital tools to address social issues. This shift towards reliance on the Internet has been shown to have salient implications for social movement formation processes; however, the effectiveness of such actions for achieving specific goals remains largely unaddressed. This study explores how the types of Internet activism and digital tools used by activism campaigns relate to success in meeting stated goals. To address these questions, the study builds on an existing framework that distinguishes between four distinct types of Internet activism: brochure-ware, which is oriented towards information distribution; e-mobilizations, which treats digital media merely as a tool for mobilizing individuals offline; online participation, which is characterized by wholly online actions such as e-petitions or virtual protests; and online organizing, where organization of a movement takes place exclusively via the internet with no face-to-face coordination by organizers.
Ordinal regression models were conducted utilizing cross-sectional data from the Global Digital Activism Data Set (GDADS), a compilation of information on 426 activism campaigns from around the world that began between 2010 and 2012; additional data regarding the types of Internet activism used was also appended to the GDADS using source materials provided within the data set. The findings suggest that use of the Internet for mobilizing offline actions is negatively associated with campaign success, but that this does not hold true for protest actions organized without use of digital tools. E-petition use was also found to be negatively related to achievement of campaign goals.
James, Rina Lynne, "The Efficacy of Virtual Protest: Linking Digital Tactics to Outcomes in Activist Campaigns" (2017). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4008.