As if my reading list for the new project hadn’t grown enough over recent weeks, I just stumbled across this fascinating looking special issue of I,C,S co-edited by Paolo Gerbaudo:
SOCIAL MEDIA AND PROTEST IDENTITIES
Special Issue of Information, Communication & Society – Volume 18, Issue 8, 2015
edited by Paolo Gerbaudo and Emiliano Treré
How does collective identity operate in social media activism across protest movements as Occupy Wall Street, the indignados and Anonymous? What are the different social media practices involved in the construction of collective identity? And how do forms of collective identity produced via social media reflect the affordances of these communication technologies and the dilemmas of digital society? Examining these and similar questions, this special issue sets out to explore the changing nature of collective identity in a digital era and to establish what opportunities and threats the new media ecology brings to processes of identity construction in contemporary protest movements. The contributions to the special issue recognize and problematize collective identity as a central object of concern for digital activists and conceive social media as platforms in which new identities are forged and channelled. The authors demonstrate that social media has become the key site where protest identities are created, channelled, and contested. Far from having disappeared from the horizon of contemporary activism, collective identity still constitutes a pivotal question for activists and scholars alike; one which is decisive to understand the emergence, persistence, and decline of protest movements, and to discern their meaning and worldview.