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Small media, big network: alternative media and social movements on the internet

O'Donnell, Susan (2000) Small media, big network: alternative media and social movements on the internet. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

This thesis explores alternative media on the Internet by drawing on a range of theoretical literatures - particularly in the areas of the public sphere, social movements and globalisation. Parallel to this theoretical exploration, a significant body of published research is reviewed on Internet use by social movements and groups in global, national, and local contexts. From this review and analysis, an original conceptual framework for analysing alternative media on the Internet is developed. A range of methodological approaches were designed to empirically develop the research issues. Empirical research on women’s organisations and the Internet in Ireland was conducted over a four-year period. The original work is significant because there have been few previous attempts to systematically devise an operational framework for research on alternative media. The framework contains seven elements. The first three are characteristics of alternative media forms or processes on the Internet - the participants, the production process and the content. The last four elements concern the wider social, political and cultural context of the media activity. The framework categorises the main areas of concern to researchers of alternative media on the Internet. Research questions are intended to develop a full scope of structural, social political and cultural factors involved in the production and use of alternative media forms and processes on the Internet and to resist superficial interpretations. The empirical research was conducted in two phases and employed a range of methods. In the first phase, the methods included postal and telephone surveys of a wide spectrum of women’s organisations in Ireland and a focus group with participants from women’s organisations in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The second phase of the research focused on Womenslink, an Internet mailing list linking women’s organisations in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic. A central methodological approach was the researcher’s participatory involvement with Womenslink and its member organisations during a two-and-a-half year period. Research methods included a content analysis of all the Womenslink messages produced during this period, and in-depth interviews and a feedback session with Womenslink participants. The final chapter in the thesis brings together the various research concerns and makes suggestions for future research on alternative media and social movements on the Internet.
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:2000
Supervisor(s):Corcoran, Farrel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social movements Ireland; Internet; Alternative media; Women's organisations
Subjects:Social Sciences > Communication
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Communications
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:19208
Deposited On:05 Sep 2013 10:46 by Celine Campbell . Last Modified 05 Sep 2013 10:46

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