Monday, May 14, 2012

Study underscores the role of YOU the individual pro-life activist

I thought this abstract was rather interesting, though I cannot vouch for its validity. It is an abstract of a study examining the relationship between online and offline activism in the abortion rights and pro-life movements.

As always, formatted for easier reading:

Purpose – Scholars of social movements have tended to focus on the social movement organization (SMO) as the primary unit of analysis, documenting a trend toward its professionalization. This trend, typified in the abortion rights movement, has facilitated the survival of movements, but is associated with a reduction in tactical and strategic innovation. Innovation is associated with movement entrepreneurs, like the body of lone activists that characterizes the antiabortion movement. However, work on online activism offers evidence that SMOs are not the dominant organizing structures in online mobilization, leading to general questions about innovation and the role of SMOs online.

Methodology – I analyze quantitatively content-coded data for the role of organizations and for innovative uses of the web for protest in the online abortion rights and antiabortion movements.

Findings – The two movements have different online footprints, with organizations dominating the former but not the latter, and an overall larger volume of antiabortion claims-making. Unlike in offline activism, organizationally affiliated sites are not less likely than those without an organizational affiliation to leverage innovative uses of the web for claims-making. Organizational composition may matter in other ways, though: the greater representation of antiabortion claims online, especially by individual activists, may be a lingering effect of the abortion rights movement's offline professionalization.

Research implications – These findings point to the importance of attending to variation across movements when they migrate online in investigations of new media for protest and for rethinking the role of SMOs in social movements.

In other words:

Poor choicers may have the money and organizational backing and do things in a slicker fashion.

But you, individual pro-lifer, are making a greater impact on the discussion online simply through your dedication.

Title:Organizational Dominance and its Consequences in the Online Abortion Rights and Antiabortion Movements   
Author(s):Katrina Kimport
Volume:33 Editor(s): Jennifer Earl, Deana A. Rohlinger ISBN: 978-1-78052-880-9
Citation:Katrina Kimport (2012), Organizational Dominance and its Consequences in the Online Abortion Rights and Antiabortion Movements, in Jennifer Earl, Deana A. Rohlinger (ed.) Media, Movements, and Political Change (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Volume 33), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.139-161
DOI:10.1108/S0163-786X(2012)0000033009 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item