Defining Injustice

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  • Title: Defining Injustice: Determining the Collective Identity of a Faceless and Placeless Virtual Social Movement
  • Author(s): Jennifer Dumoulin
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Technology, Knowledge & Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society
  • Keywords: Collective Identity, Social Movements, Hacktivism, Anonymous
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 1832-3669 (Print)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1832-3669/CGP/v14i04/29-40
  • Citation: Dumoulin, Jennifer . 2018. "Defining Injustice: Determining the Collective Identity of a Faceless and Placeless Virtual Social Movement." The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society 14 (4): 29-40. doi:10.18848/1832-3669/CGP/v14i04/29-40.
  • Extent: 12 pages

Abstract

Virtual social movements are not restricted by traditional borders or boundaries. They attract a geographically, socioeconomically, and culturally diverse membership whose engagement ebbs and flows on issues rather than ideologically based motives. Despite seemingly loose and temporary ties, virtual social movements are nevertheless able to maintain a sustained membership and successfully carry out collective action operations. The digital hacktivist group Anonymous, whose membership is both placeless and faceless, does not focus its efforts against a single target or a single cause. Its diverse members strike wherever they see injustice—a subjective concept that is defined and shaped by individual lived experiences. Through an examination of the videos published on its YouTube Channel, this paper considers how Anonymous uses issues-based collective identity narratives to mobilize and sustain members around a concept that is, traditionally, subjective and shaped by our ideological, socioeconomic and cultural experiences.