Comparing social movements and political parties’ activism: The psychosocial predictors of collective action and the role of the Internet

Patrizia Milesi, Daniela Marzana, Augusta Isabella Alberici, Paolo Malfermo, Raffaele Canfora

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

According to the social psychology literature, there are four main motivations that drive people to participate in collective actions (e.g., Tausch et al., 2011; Van Stekelenburg et al., 2009; Van Zomeren et al., 2008; 2011): first, identification with an action group that is involved in a public struggle against powerful out-groups in the social arena (collective politicized identity); second, negative emotions arising from the perception that the collective situation of one’s own group (or of another relevant group) is illegitimate or unfair (e.g., group-based anger and contempt); third, shared beliefs that through joint efforts the group will be able to overcome intervening obstacles and to achieve its goals (collective efficacy); fourth, the perception that some core moral principles are violated and that it is necessary to defend and reinstate them collectively (moral convictions). The psychosocial motivations to collective action develop through social interactions among in-group members (McGarty et al., 2009). With this regard, political discussions through the social media have become an established form of collective and political communication, thus playing a relevant role in fostering offline protests. The aim of the present research is to compare the meaning that supporters of social movements and party activists associate with the psychosocial predictors of collective action and to investigate their perception of the Internet. A sample of digital natives who were supporters of social movements vs. political party activists (20-30 years old) has been interviewed. Results showed some interesting peculiarities of the two groups. As compared with political party activists, in social movement supporters: a) volatile definitions of group membership are quite volatile, and the struggle against powerful out-groups shades into the background; b) participation is also motivated by positive emotions such as hope and joy; c) collective efficacy is contingent on short – term goals to be achieved; d) a main aggregating force is the perception that a moral principle is threatened; e) social media are perceived as a mean to exchange information as well as a emotionally involving context. Discussion will focus on the psychological motives that drive different types of collective action, giving particular attention to the meanings that digital natives attribute to the Internet as a context of mobilization.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteTheory, Action and Impact of Social Protest
Pagine3-4
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012
Evento1° TAISP (Theory, Action and Impact of Social Protest) Interdisciplinary Conference - Canterbury (UK),
Durata: 13 ott 201214 ott 2012

Convegno

Convegno1° TAISP (Theory, Action and Impact of Social Protest) Interdisciplinary Conference
CittàCanterbury (UK),
Periodo13/10/1214/10/12

Keywords

  • Collective action
  • Internet

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