Posted to the Ethnos Project by on August 26th, 2013


In an increasingly technological age, the internet is becoming a primary source of networking. From common interest groups to business meetings, many members of western society have at least a minor presence on ‘Web 2.0’. Social movements, like every other aspect of life, have become increasingly reliant on the internet for networking, information sharing, and coalition building. This is the case even for disadvantaged groups with fewer resources and less capacity for utilising computers and the internet. Aboriginal activists in Townsville have been slow to exert their presence on the web, but are gradually becoming savvy in the use of electronic networking in furthering their cause. They rely on listservs, blogs, and more recently social networking sites to make their struggle known to abroad audience. The rise in ‘push-button activism’ increases the opportunities for everyday engagement with the state by social movement participants. However, it also changes the notion of participation as marches and demonstrations give way to electronic petitions and Facebook fan pages. This paper argues that web 2.0 can be a beneficial resource to activists if it is carefully managed to avoid the risks of complacency that it may also bring about.

Keywords: social movement, technology, web 2.0, Aboriginal

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