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Capabilities and limitations of protest mobilization through the social networks

Published in journal "SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences", 2014-4 , pages -.

Resume: The subject of this research is the effect of Internet-based social networks upon the emergence, dynamics, and specificity of the process of protest mobilization. The object of this research is the mass mobilization during the course of revolutionary processes and massive antigovernment campaigns. The author examines the possibilities of political mobilization through the social networks in Russia based on the conducted research of user behavior of the popular Russian social network VK. A special attention is given to the problem of spontaneous occurrences of mass protests, as well as the modern dynamics of the events of “Arab Spring” and appearance of the “Occupy” movement within the context of political science. The empirical part of the research is conducting using the descriptive method and statistical analysis of media behavior of the VK users. The theoretical analysis relies on the results of modern research in the field of media and communication studies, social movements, and conflict politics. The main conclusions of this research is firstly, affirmation of limited influence of the social network VK upon involvement of the youth into a mass protest in Russia; secondly, the general supplemental role of the social networks into the process of protest mobilization in the cases of typical political conflicts. On the other hand, the conducted analysis allows us to substantiate the possibility of a quality influence of social networks upon the dynamics of mass protests in the case of emergence of exceptional events that are transgressive for public consciousness, where the “new media” instruments are able to rapidly synchronize local demands, change their scale, and involve broad social groups into the message of protest and the culture of social opposition. The novelty of this research consists in refutation of the thesis of exceptionally high influence of social networks onto the forming of mass protest the ideal-political perceptions within youth. Alternatively, the results of this analysis allow defining the future directions of research on the causes and dynamic characteristics of the mass protests.

Keywords: protest, mobilization, information, social networks, VK, youth, social movements, conflict politics, Arab Spring, revolution

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Bibliography:
Никифоров А.А.. Возможности и ограничения протестной мобилизации через социальные сети // Право и политика. – 2014. – № 12. – С. 104-107. DOI: 10.7256/1811-9018.2014.12.1396

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