Contemporary Social Movements in a Hybrid Media Environment


Media are central to the dynamics of protest and social movements. Contemporary social movements face a shifting environment composed of new media technologies and platforms that enable new identities, organizational forms, and practices. We review recent research focusing on the ways in which movements shape and are shaped by the media environment and the ways in which changes in the media environment have reshaped participation, mobilization, and impacts of activism. We conclude with the following recommendations for scholarship in this burgeoning area: move toward a broader conception of media in movements; expand engagement with scholarship in neighboring disciplines that study politics, media, and communication; develop new methodological and analytical skills for emerging forms of media; and investigate the ways in which media are enhancing, altering, or undermining the ability of movements to mobilize support, shape broader identities and attitudes, and secure new advantages from targets and authorities.

Annual Review of Sociology