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Do clouds have politics? Collective actors in social media land

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This commentary reviews some of the central theoretical concepts and contentions that represent the intellectual scaffold of this special issue. It looks closely at the notions of collective identity and collective action as they figure in the work of Alberto Melucci. It then critically assesses the argument that these notions should give way to a new model emphasizing how social media connect the actions undertaken by independent individuals. The rich corpus of research reported in the articles is surveyed with the goal to map the positions the different authors take along the collective versus connective dichotomy and to highlight the ways in which their contributions advance our understanding of identity, connectivity and political action in the social media environment.
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Keywords: collective action; social constructivism; social media

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Communication, Media and Film, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: August 3, 2015

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