Organizing resisting activities in on-line social spaces: regulation, communities, materiality. The case of a citizen’s movement defending undocumented migrant pupils

Abstract : The formal and structural components of social movement organizations are rather elusive and scarce: their militants explicitly emphasize the egalitarian, horizontal, democratic and transparent way of making decisions and taking action. They also like to pride themselves on not being similar to any existing organizational form (Rao et al., 2000), and they often vow to disappear when their mission has been fulfilled. Moreover, in this day and age, most social movements resort to easy-to-use on-line technology, and their members become on-line users. The on-line nature of the organization has reinforced the trend toward lightweight formal organizational features in social movements, and the lack of formal rules. These flexible organizations are highly responsive and deliver fast mobilization. The quest for massive and far-reaching mobilization is a powerful strategy for advocacy and action but goes hand in hand with significant risks of losing control. Mission drift, push for more powerful governance structures, anarchic growth, controversies within the movement and the maintenance of pluralism among members are the main risks linked to an open social movement, where almost anyone can become a member through on-line registration to any existing e-mail list (Kavada, 2009). Yet, these self-proclaimed ‘no-rules’ organizations cannot thrive and stay true to themselves without rules, even if the latter are informal and invisible from the outside.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02065532
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 5:26:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 1:10:12 AM

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Philippe Eynaud, Damien Mourey, Nathalie Raulet-Croset. Organizing resisting activities in on-line social spaces: regulation, communities, materiality. The case of a citizen’s movement defending undocumented migrant pupils. François-Xavier de Vaujany, Nathalie Mitev, Giovan Francesco Lanzara, Anouk Mukherjee. Materiality, Rules and Regulation, Palgrave, pp.154-174, 2015. ⟨halshs-02065532⟩

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