Member Publication: The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives

Please check out the recent publication by OOW member Jen Schradie. 2020. The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives. Harvard University Press.

Here is a short description of the book:

How do we make sense of this pendulum swing from digital utopianism of Facebook and Twitter revolutions to dystopianism Russian bots, political hacking, and fake news? The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives (Harvard University Press), is sociologist Jen Schradie’s new book that contextualizes the online political landscape. WIRED Magazine chose The Revolution that Wasn’t as one of its top summer reads, noting“Schradie explains that, while Black Lives Matter and #MeToo capture headlines, it’s traditionally powerful conservative groups who have used digital tools to create tangible change. Hers may not be the internet culture take you want…but it’s likely the one you need.” Other news outlets, ranging from Newsweek and Vox to The Times Literary Supplement and Le Monde, have recommended the book to its readers. Academic critics have also sung its praises: Dave Karpf noted that the book is “both timely and important. The book offers a robust challenge to some of the bedrock assumptions that have motivated research on digital politics for the past decade or two…It is empirically rigorous, theoretically compelling, and beautifully written. I expect this is a book that will help shape the field for years to come.” Data & Society director danah boyd noted, “The Revolution That Wasn’t reveals the textured reality of contemporary activism, challenging widespread assumptions about technology’s role in social movements. Beautiful storytelling and grounded insights make this book a delightful and important read for anyone who is concerned about politics today.” According to Sidney Tarrow, “A pleasure to read, and packed with vibrant interactions with activists of both types, Schradie’s book will take the study of digital activism to a new level.” And Richard R. John noted in the Washington Monthly, “An “arresting thesis…While Schradie recognizes the quantitative dimension of online engagement, the primary strength of her book lies in her fine-grained ethnographic analysis of the ways in which left-leaning and right-leaning groups did, and did not, take advantage of digital media.” 

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