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Digitally Enabled Social ChangeActivism in the Internet Age$
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Jennifer Earl and Katrina Kimport

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015103

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015103.001.0001

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Taking Action on the Cheap: Costs and Participation

Taking Action on the Cheap: Costs and Participation

(p.65) 4 Taking Action on the Cheap: Costs and Participation
Digitally Enabled Social Change

Jennifer Earl

Katrina Kimport

The MIT Press

Costs have always been considered a significant predictor of individual participation in collective action and social movement. This chapter sheds light on the role of costs in classic social movement theory and research. It also mentions that the innovative usage of information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as the Web and e-mail can motivate participation and reduce the costs of social movement. Costs are associated with resource mobilization and overall participation, and these will also be calculated and taken into consideration when the protesters face police or private action to control the protest. Cost calculations may also help account for participation in large-scale protests and different tactics. A supersized approach to participation means that the innovative uses of the Web cannot change the fundamental dynamics of participation; however, the Web may help increase and diversify the level of participation.

Keywords:   costs, participation, collective action, social movement, ICTs, Web, resource mobilization

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