Chapter 2

What Is Social Media

A Critical View


This chapter develops an understanding of the concept of social media, which will serve the discussion of the reciprocal relation between social media and collective action throughout the book. To do so, this chapter will conduct a differentiation of three dimensions of social media—information and communication technology, institutions, and media—and discuss the unique features of social media in each of these contexts. Subsequently, common theoretical pitfalls such as technological determinism, centrism, and utopianism, which have proved to be counterproductive not only in theoretical, but also in practical activist work, will be discussed and critically addressed.


Affordance; Capitalism; ...

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