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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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From Power in Numbers to Power Laws: Copresence in Organizing

From Power in Numbers to Power Laws: Copresence in Organizing

(p.147) 7 From Power in Numbers to Power Laws: Copresence in Organizing
Digitally Enabled Social Change

Jennifer Earl

Katrina Kimport

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses whether organizing even needs to be collective at all and sheds light on how innovative uses of the Web may enable individuals or smaller teams to organize. The literature of social movement recognizes the collective nature of organizing and shows that the collective nature of organizing, like collective participation, leads to dilemmas and creates opportunities that have been studied extensively by social movement scholars. The innovative use of information and communication-based technologies can help solve various dilemmas that are impeding the dynamics of collective organizing. Scholars find that power law phenomena, which can be termed an imbalance in participation that grows more extreme at higher levels of participation, may make collective organizing inexpensive.

Keywords:   collective organizing, Web, social movement, power law, scholars, participation

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