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The Practises of Internet Networking: A Resource for Alternative Political Movements
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Media and communication science.
2008 (English)In: Information, Communication and Society, ISSN 1369-118X, E-ISSN 1468-4462, Vol. 11, no 5, p. 659-674Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the past ten years, the political significance of the Internet has become a recurrent theme within the social science literature, with questions centring on the Internet's part in the emergence of political movements and in the reshaping of people's roles as citizens. These discussions have been predominantly theoretical and deterministic in nature, with the political significance of the Internet being viewed as a consequence of its features; for example, the Internet's network structure is addressed within this literature as a forerunner to a politics following network logic. For the most part, extant research has not told us much about the Internet's significance in individuals' everyday political engagement. This article aims to modestly compensate for this shortcoming by presenting empirical results from a study on the perception and use of the Internet among young people in four alternative political movements. Specifically, by drawing on semi-structured interviews with twenty-one activists and viewing the interview data through the lens of the 'network metaphor', the article illustrates and discusses three different networking practises in which the Internet is an important resource: (1) the activists' use of the Internet to maintain their organizations' network-like character, (2) their use of the Internet for networking within their organizations, and (3) their use of the Internet for networking in between different, alternative political organizations. The article concludes by discussing the potential significance of these networking practises for politics, and presenting a comparative outlook towards a similar, previous study of young members within established political parties' youth organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge , 2008. Vol. 11, no 5, p. 659-674
Keywords [en]
Political; network; Internet; alternative movements; Sweden
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-10170DOI: 10.1080/13691180802126760OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-10170DiVA, id: diva2:233214
Available from: 2009-08-31 Created: 2009-08-31 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Olsson, Tobias

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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