ACTIVIST GROUPS AND PRACTICES
OF MOBILISATION
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
• Extract from a lecture on governance
• Unit ‘Communication Technology & Ch...
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
• Not “what to think’ but “what to think about”
(Cohen 1963)
• Agenda-settin...
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
• Inter-media agenda setting (Ragas and Kiousis 2010)
• MoveOn.org’s Obama i...
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
• GetUp! and MoveOn
• Hybrid organisation “a blend of traditional
hierarchic...
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
• Membership
– Members do not pay to join or receive a service
– Opt in to r...
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
1. Send an email: to the federal or state
legislature, a government agency, ...
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
• 2010 election
• Focus: pollution, mental
health, and refugees
• Rapid resp...
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
• ‘Clicktivism’?
• One of the key opportunities
that the internet has
presen...
Activist Groups and Practices of
Mobilisation
• GetUp!’s agenda-setting
capacity?
• Media coverage
– Most neutral, includi...
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Activist groups and practices of mobilisation

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Extract from a lecture about governance titled "#ThanksGetUp!". Focuses on the example of activist groups and political mobilisation. Contains references that would be useful if you are interested in exploring actual research on activist groups.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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Activist groups and practices of mobilisation

  1. 1. ACTIVIST GROUPS AND PRACTICES OF MOBILISATION
  2. 2. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation • Extract from a lecture on governance • Unit ‘Communication Technology & Change’
  3. 3. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation
  4. 4. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation
  5. 5. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation • Not “what to think’ but “what to think about” (Cohen 1963) • Agenda-setting, salience – Affective salience – tone of message – Substantive salience – informational content – Transfer of ‘object’ from one agenda to another “first-level agenda setting” (what to think about) – Attribute salience – “second-level agenda setting” (how to think about)
  6. 6. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation • Inter-media agenda setting (Ragas and Kiousis 2010) • MoveOn.org’s Obama in 30 Seconds – Political advertisement competition • Partisan media coverage (The Nation) – Congruent (‘strong’) first-level agenda setting • Explored relation between affective salience and second-level agenda setting • Obama official ads and MoveOn.org’s ads – Strong correlation between Obama negative ads and MoveOn ads – Weak correlation between Obama positive ads and MoveOn ads
  7. 7. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation • GetUp! and MoveOn • Hybrid organisation “a blend of traditional hierarchical decision-making by the core staff and Board, coupled with rapid response networked member participation” (Vromen and Coleman 2011: 80).
  8. 8. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation • Membership – Members do not pay to join or receive a service – Opt in to receive emails (and they can simply opt out at anytime as well) on GetUp! campaigns. – Recipients of GetUp!’s emails choose to take further action only on issues that matter to them. • What is this action? How is it political? Is it?
  9. 9. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation 1. Send an email: to the federal or state legislature, a government agency, the government leader, a company; to a newspaper editor; 2. Make a phone call: to the federal legislature, the government leader, to fellow citizens to vote; 3. Sign an e-petition; 4. Join a local action; 5. Donate money; and/or 6. Watch a video. (Vromen and Coleman 2011: 84)
  10. 10. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation • 2010 election • Focus: pollution, mental health, and refugees • Rapid response – Voter enrolment issue – 70% of members supported – Launched High Court action – 3 week turnaround – 98,138 voters enfranchised Issue Frequency % Carbon Pollution 4 11.5 Mental Health 5 14 Refugees 3 8.5 Native Forests 1 3 Voter Enrolment 6 17 Tony Abbott’s Conservative Agenda 2 6 Internet Censorship 1 3 General Election Strategy, progressive agenda 2 6 Election Day, visibility, scorecards 5 14 Combination of carbon pollution, mental health, refugees 6 17 Total 35 100 GetUp! Member Emails by Election Issue 1 June - 23 August 2010 (85)
  11. 11. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation • ‘Clicktivism’? • One of the key opportunities that the internet has presented to contemporary social movements is an improved capacity to organise high threshold offline actions. (Van Laer and Van Aelst 2010) – Creative function – Facilitating function • 2010 GetUp! – 7,000 people offline activities – 20,000 hours volunteer work
  12. 12. Activist Groups and Practices of Mobilisation • GetUp!’s agenda-setting capacity? • Media coverage – Most neutral, including 88% of news stories – Only 13 articles negative, mostly about Abbott & gender ads – 76% did not mention political leaning – 12% called it progressive – 12% called it independent • Vromen & Coleman argue that “the routinised recognition of GetUp! as a legitimate political player in Australia” (89)

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