Between rebellion and uprising intersecting networks and discursive strategies in rebel controlled Syria
Social Movement Studies
Informa UK Limited
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Donker, T. H. (2019). Between rebellion and uprising intersecting networks and discursive strategies in rebel controlled Syria. Social Movement Studies, 18 (1), 17-35. https://doi.org/10.1080/14742837.2018.1538875
In the article I explore how, at the individual level, participation in multiple networks opens up questions regarding the classification of social activism. The central contention thereby is that as mobilization networks increasingly intersect, explicit discursive designations of activism (being ‘political’ or ‘nonpolitical, social’) by individual activists becomes more prevalent. I substantiate this argument with an in-depth exploration of the Syrian uprising. I show that as two distinct networks─one that emerged around nonviolent activism, another that emerged around a violent uprising─increasingly intersected, activists began to use specific discursive strategies. On the one side, a strategy emerged that emphasized the nonpolitical nature of mobilization, thereby distancing activism discursively from intersecting networks. On the other side, a strategy emerged of politicizing collective identities, thereby bridging discursively various mobilization networks. The article thereby adds to existing studies on the intersection between network structure and individual activism. The analysis builds on more than a hundred primary sources from various rebel groups and relevant local actors in addition to thirty interviews with relevant players among activist, rebel and public services organizations.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14742837.2018.1538875
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/285987