Micromobilization includes leveraging opportunities for communication to link individual and sociocultural processes of identity, solidarity, and consciousness. This particular social concept emerges from sociologist William Gamson’s social psychological theory of collective action. He suggests that social psychologists interested in studying social movements should link individual and sociocultural levels of analysis to understand the processes behind the mobilization behind collective action. He points to four processes as significant to social movements: collective identity, consciousness ,solidarity,and micromobilization.
Collective identity refers to the link between individuals and cultural systems as individuals shape their sense of self using a definition shared by coparticipants in an effort toward social change. Consciousness also links the individual to cultural systems and involves individuals giving meaning to a social situation so that it becomes a shared definition insinuates collective action. Solidarity refers to the link between individuals and the social system in which individuals initiate and pursue to collective actors, which he defines as the entities that carry social movements.
Micromobilization links these processes together through social interactions. Sociologist Andrew G. Walder notes in his 2009 Annual Review of Sociology article that these interactions often emerge within the context of networks:
Networks in social movement research are primarily understood as mechanisms of micromobilization through which individuals are recruited into movement organizations or episodes of collective action (McAdam 1986, McAdam & Paulsen 1993).(Page 401)
Micromobilization emerges within the context of social media activism as well. For example, scholars at the University of Maryland argue posting messages online to interact with specific groups or using speciic hashtags might constitute micromobilization. In fact, such activity might constitute intersectional micromobilization when these interactions emerge from an intersectional consciousness:
Intersectional consciousness is a set of political beliefs and action orientations rooted in recognition that multiple grounds of identity simultaneously shape an individual’s experience and expression of a particular social category.(Greenwood and Christian 2008:406)
Intersectional micromobilization thus refers to the use of intersectional consciousness to motivate and recruit members of a social network into movement organizations or events that require collective action. To learn more about intersectional micromobilization, read more here.
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