From Connective Actions in Social Movements to Offline Collective Actions: An Individual Level Perspective

Edward Bernroider, G Harindranath, Sherif Kamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of connective action characterised by interconnection and personal communication on social media (SM) for participating in collective action in the physical world of social movements.

A research model is developed integrating different modes of connective action into the social identity model of collective action (SIMCA) to investigate pathways to participating in offline collective action from an individual perspective. Following a survey design approach, data collected from 194 respondents in the background of Egypt’s social movements are examined using partial least squares path modeling and mediation analyses.

Our main results reveal that interactive socialisation on SM provides an important momentum for the user to internalise (consume) and externalise (share) content online from a social learning perspective. In terms of translating these activities to participating in offline collective action, we find support for two independent causal chains: An “instrumental” chain building on content externalisation and efficacy considerations; and an “obligatory” chain based on content internalisation and collective identity.

Our results highlight the individual level origins of offline mobilisation in social movements, which are not only grounded in social-psychology, but also develop out of interrelated connective actions supporting social learning. Prior work has mainly conceptualised the value of SM in social movements for online political communication. Our conceptualisation is novel in terms of its integration of online and offline behaviours with social-psychological perspectives, and its application with primary data in a protest movement context that heavily relied on connective actions for offline mobilisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-230
Number of pages26
JournalInformation Technology & People
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2022

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