Social Media and New Forms of Collective Engagements: Bringing Time Into Connective Action



In this presentation, I will first present briefly my earlier work on connective action associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. This will help the stage for the presentation of my ongoing new work associated with the temporality of recurrent connective action, that is, how cycles of contention and periods of abeyance unfold and succeed one another over time. Such temporality of recurrent connective action needs to be investigated because causes do not get resolved instantly and because social media spur drastic ebbs and flows in activity over time. The presented study builds upon existing scholarship on the succession of cycles of contention and abeyance periods in social movements as well as on connective action and social media. It highlights the importance of the relationship between recurrent connective action and the counter-connective action that may emerge in its wake. It then examines MeTooIndia, a particular instance of recurrent connective action associated with contentious issues related to gender in India. This study illuminates how cycles of contention unfold over time for recurrent connective action and how social media affordances turn from enabling to constraining. It reveals the growing importance of new, grassroots and Social Movement Organizations-like, actors who focus activity on the cause of the recurrent connective action. It finally unpacks how recurrent connective action relates to other phenomena over time, including antagonistic ones.

This seminar will take place in T09-67. To join online, find the details below: