Online collective identity: The case of the environmental movement

Robert Ackland, Mathieu O'NEIL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Social movements are making extensive communicative and organizational use of the Internet in order to identify social problems and bring about change. We present a model of an online social movement, where actors exchange practical and symbolic resources through hyperlink and online frame networks. Our positioning of these exchanges within a continuum of conscious and unconscious expressive behavior informs our framework for the empirical analysis of online collectives. An application using data collected from the websites of over 160 environmental activist organizations reveals significant fragmentation in this field of contentious activity, which we suggest reflects offline social divisions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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