Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


7 November 2018

Jun Liu - Contentious Collective Action in the Digital Age - A Synthetic, Comparative Framework’

Presented By CRCC Seminar Series

About this event


Despite enduring interest, proliferating interrogation, and substantial deliberation on the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in political activism and social movements over the past decade, existing literature from different disciplines still rarely achieves a consistent framework for the analysis of how ICTs transform contentious collective action for social changes. To advance the field, this study outlines a theoretical framework that views communication as a key process that distributes political opportunities, maneuvers mobilizing structures, shapes cultural framing, articulates contested meanings, and facilitates relational dynamics among these interrelated factors in contentious collection action. By centralizing and sensitizing communication dynamics, the proposed framework suggests an explicit focus on various modes of communication and metacommunication to dissect (technologically mediated) collective actions in different spatiotemporal contexts. A comparative case study has been given to illustrate the application of the framework, including the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964, also known as “Freedom Summer,” the Wukan protest in 2011, one of the landmark cases of political protest in China since Tian’anmen, and the Egyptian Uprising, also in 2011.