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New Media and the Shaping of Contemporary Social Movements: The Case Study of Transnational Anti-War Activism against Israel-Gaza Conflict

Wongkitrungruang, Worapoj LU (2009) SIMT05 20091
Graduate School
Master of Science in Global Studies
Abstract
The emergence of new media technologies, particularly the Internet, has transformed communicative environments and media landscape, influencing social, cultural and political processes in our everyday life. It is claimed to contribute to the recent transnational large-scale social movements in the last decade such as the anti-globalization protests like well-known ‘Battle of Seattle’ in 1999 or the 2003 anti-Iraq war protests, labeled as the largest global-scale peace movement in the whole history. Recently, the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict has drawn global attention and reaction, not only in the realm of formal politics, but also civil society movements. This study, using transnational anti-war activism against the Israel assault on... (More)
The emergence of new media technologies, particularly the Internet, has transformed communicative environments and media landscape, influencing social, cultural and political processes in our everyday life. It is claimed to contribute to the recent transnational large-scale social movements in the last decade such as the anti-globalization protests like well-known ‘Battle of Seattle’ in 1999 or the 2003 anti-Iraq war protests, labeled as the largest global-scale peace movement in the whole history. Recently, the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict has drawn global attention and reaction, not only in the realm of formal politics, but also civil society movements. This study, using transnational anti-war activism against the Israel assault on Gaza Strip as the case, examines the contribution of new media in four aspects of change - the organizational structure, the collective identity formation, mobilization and the counter public sphere – via a hyperlink and qualitative content analysis on peace/anti-war websites and Group in Facebook of 12 selected cases.

The research indicates the signs of transnational characteristic and integration of diverse types of organization, from established to radical ones, through hyperlinked connections. The degree of transnationality likely depends on country base of movements: movements located in the US or UK seems to be applicable to the concept of rooted cosmopolitanism while the Palestine-based ones rootless cosmopolitanism. Individual activists have become an important part of social movement formations and help expand the size of movements by inviting people in their circle to join. Regarding collective identity formation, recent movement organizations employ multi-issue frames and show linkages beyond peace-related movements. Individual activists show even more flexible and multiple political identifications through participation in varying kinds of social movement. As for mobilization, the Internet is actively used by social movements as communication tools to keep ties with participants and coordinate offline mobilization. Yet, extensive use of the Internet as a means of protest is not much employed. The Internet is also used by social movements to alter the dimensions of the public spheres through the self-production of media contents and dissemination them across borders. It brings about the condition which the construction of meaning can no longer be controlled by few gatekeepers and diverse discourses are more contested in the new public spheres. (Less)
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author
Wongkitrungruang, Worapoj LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMT05 20091
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Transnational Social Movements, Israel-Gaza Conflict, Peace/Antiwar Activism, New Communication Ecology, The Internet
language
English
id
1398914
date added to LUP
2009-07-02 09:27:32
date last changed
2010-06-04 15:57:01
@misc{1398914,
  abstract     = {The emergence of new media technologies, particularly the Internet, has transformed communicative environments and media landscape, influencing social, cultural and political processes in our everyday life. It is claimed to contribute to the recent transnational large-scale social movements in the last decade such as the anti-globalization protests like well-known ‘Battle of Seattle’ in 1999 or the 2003 anti-Iraq war protests, labeled as the largest global-scale peace movement in the whole history. Recently, the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict has drawn global attention and reaction, not only in the realm of formal politics, but also civil society movements. This study, using transnational anti-war activism against the Israel assault on Gaza Strip as the case, examines the contribution of new media in four aspects of change - the organizational structure, the collective identity formation, mobilization and the counter public sphere – via a hyperlink and qualitative content analysis on peace/anti-war websites and Group in Facebook of 12 selected cases. 

The research indicates the signs of transnational characteristic and integration of diverse types of organization, from established to radical ones, through hyperlinked connections. The degree of transnationality likely depends on country base of movements: movements located in the US or UK seems to be applicable to the concept of rooted cosmopolitanism while the Palestine-based ones rootless cosmopolitanism. Individual activists have become an important part of social movement formations and help expand the size of movements by inviting people in their circle to join. Regarding collective identity formation, recent movement organizations employ multi-issue frames and show linkages beyond peace-related movements. Individual activists show even more flexible and multiple political identifications through participation in varying kinds of social movement. As for mobilization, the Internet is actively used by social movements as communication tools to keep ties with participants and coordinate offline mobilization. Yet, extensive use of the Internet as a means of protest is not much employed. The Internet is also used by social movements to alter the dimensions of the public spheres through the self-production of media contents and dissemination them across borders. It brings about the condition which the construction of meaning can no longer be controlled by few gatekeepers and diverse discourses are more contested in the new public spheres.},
  author       = {Wongkitrungruang, Worapoj},
  keyword      = {Transnational Social Movements,Israel-Gaza Conflict,Peace/Antiwar Activism,New Communication Ecology,The Internet},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {New Media and the Shaping of Contemporary Social Movements: The Case Study of Transnational Anti-War Activism against Israel-Gaza Conflict},
  year         = {2009},
}