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Patrick Underwood


Publications by Patrick Underwood (bibliography)

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Underwood, Patrick and Welser, Howard T. (2011): 'The internet is here': emergent coordination and innovation of protest forms in digital culture. In: Proceedings of the 2011 iConference 2011. pp. 304-311. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1940761.1940803

The series of protests against the Church of Scientology known as "Project Chanology" marks the emergence of an important form of contemporary protest movement defined by networked internal structures and pervasive memetic culture. Such a protest movement is highly dynamic -- rapidly adapting to changing challenges and contextual settings. This cultural innovation is made possible by the increasing digital mediation of social life. In the following analysis, we trace the unique structural contours of Chanology, investigate how participants leveraged a unique internal structure and the memetic environment of the internet to grow, and conclude with an explanation of why the novel modes of protest used in Chanology contributed to its success and why these forms of protest are likely to proliferate in an increasingly digitally mediated environment. From a theoretical standpoint, Project Chanology both affirms and challenges conventional conceptions of social movements. The utility of Chwe's network analytical approach to the problems of coordination in social movements is also demonstrated.

© All rights reserved Underwood and Welser and/or ACM Press

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