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Organizing With Self-Organization?: The Ramifications of the Strategic Use of Facebook in Informal Civic Activism

Organizing With Self-Organization?: The Ramifications of the Strategic Use of Facebook in Informal Civic Activism
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Author(s): Rui Alexandre Novais (University of Mindelo, Cape Verde & CEFH Catholic Portuguese University, Portugal)
Copyright: 2023
Pages: 23
Source title: Research Anthology on Social Media's Influence on Government, Politics, and Social Movements
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7472-3.ch005



This chapter aims at exploring the ramifications of the strategic usage of Facebook in informal civic activism against the yet-to-be-studied case of an African third wave democratic country. Focusing on the emergence of Sokols up to the unprecedented 2017 street demonstration in Cape Verde, it reviews findings from a multidimensional empiric-holistic method that addresses the associated role of Facebook. The study confirms the existence of a heterarchical and distributed leadership alongside a horizontal and collaborative decision-making arrangement in a Facebook-mediated civic activism movement. While corroborating the tendency of grassroots activism in adopting a hybrid blend of online and offline, it concludes that Facebook was used in support of the largely self-organized Sokols movement and the loosely structured street demonstration held in São Vicente. However, besides not necessarily changing the fundamental structures of the civic activism movement—including organization, leadership, decision-making and protest staging—Facebook only supplemented the offline practices.

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