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Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age [Paperback]

Manuel Castells
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 Oct 2012
This book is an exploration of the new forms of social movements and protests that are erupting in the world today, from the Arab uprisings to the indignadas movement in Spain, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US. While these and similar social movements differ in many important ways, there is one thing they share in common: they are all interwoven inextricably with the creation of autonomous communication networks supported by the Internet and wireless communication. In this timely and important book, Manuel Castells – the leading scholar of our contemporary networked society – examines the social, cultural and political roots of these new social movements, studies their innovative forms of self–organization, assesses the precise role of technology in the dynamics of the movements, suggests the reasons for the support they have found in large segments of society, and probes their capacity to induce political change by influencing people’s minds. Based on original fieldwork by the author and his collaborators as well as secondary sources, this book provides a path–breaking analysis of the new forms of social movements, and offers an analytical template for advancing the debates triggered by them concerning the new forms of social change and political democracy in the global network society.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press (12 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745662854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745662855
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"A timely and important book … [Castells′] claims are powerful, his prose captivating and the examples he uses are fascinating." e–International Relations

About the Author

Manuel Castells is University Professor and Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, as well as Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Planning, University of California, Berkeley. He has published 26 books including the trilogy "The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture", translated in 22 languages, and "Communication Power". He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the British Academy,  the Academia Europaea, and the Spanish Royal Academy of Economics. He was a founding board member of the European Research Council. He was awarded the 2012 Holberg Prize from the Parliament of Norway.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely and important book 8 Mar 2013
By Ms. C. R. Stillman-lowe VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
MC is the leading authority on this subject and the author of 26 books. He chronicles the protests of the Arab spring, the indignadas in Spain and the Occupy Wall Street movements, and includes valuable Appendices with chronologies of each. Arguably these movements were preceeded several years ago by the Tanker Drivers' Strike in which mobile phones were used to coordinate the drivers' movements, and in which the country was rapidly brought to its knees, but which did not involve the internet.

The results of the recent protests have not lived up to the hopes they aroused with civil war ensuing or the army taking control. Recent authors such as Gladwell or Morisov (The Net Delusion) have challanged the importance of the Net as they have been infiltrated and mirrored by Governments. But this is a timely and important book by the leading scholar in the field and deserves to be read by everyone.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some much needed optimism 17 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is quite academic in places. Don't let the first chapter put you off. What shines through is both Castells' academic rigour and his thirst for justice for the people of all the world. But most of all his faith that people can still pull off change towards ideals. Especially but not entirely young people. He fully appreciates the rising influence of women even in countries where Islam is prominent. And he delineates what is different about this new crowd action brought about by and for individuals through the new media of mobile phones and internet, compared to the collective action taken in the 20th century inspired by and for ideologies.
As those old ideologies have corrupted and died to the point where socialism is a dirty word and former members of trotskyite factions are now busy flogging off the nhs to merry international bankers, Castells sees what is coming forward to take its place. Some things stay the same - once people realise they can only ever be governed by consent because there are more of us than them then Mubarak is finished in a similar way to how ceaucescu or marie antoinette was finished, albeit he escaped with his life.
But the level of education and technical savvy of the member of the new social movements is new as is their disinterest in hierarchies and ideologies. Social media is their model of the world - individuals coming together and moving apart as suits them and not central control and crude unquestioning dependence upon a wise leader.
Perhaps Castell risks being set up as an old fashioned wise leader but he is clear that he is only freely contributing like everyone else.we cannot afford to give up on hope for all its failings no matter who where or how old we are. We can make a better world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Important book 24 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An important critique on the changing status quo in the advent of the internet , and globalized, networked age.
Intelligent and current. Essential reading for anyone who gives a damn.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More outrage and hope than networks 28 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was a bit disappointed by this book, as I was expecting from the title to find out more about the specific role of technology. (If there's anyone out there who doubts how important IT is, have a quick look at the Korea DPR webpage!) However, it is more of a sociological work, and I suppose it achieves most of its objectives with this limitation.

The book starts off brightly by using two very different examples of how the phenomenon started. One is the Tunisian revolution of 2011, which was ignited by distribution via social networking of images of police violence. The second was one I confess I missed completely at the time, Iceland's "kitchenware revolution"; this makes early the point that the Internet is a key feature not only in fighting oppressive regimes, but also in achieving change in democracies. (I learnt from this chapter the expression "crowdsourcing", and that this was how the Icelanders re-wrote their constitution - a modern version of Periclean democracy! However, since this book was published conventional poilitics seems to have overturned the "crowdsourced" constitution.) This lays the ground for an account of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement and the "Indignadas" in Spain. More predictably, there is an analysis of the uprisings in Egypt and subsequently other Arab nations.

Castelis' conclusion expresses a hope that networked social movements will help to achieve a more democratic future. As someone whose roots, on his own admission, go back to Paris 1968, he could do well to go beyond analysis and indulge in speculation. For example, the Achilles heel of all past freedom movements has been Establishment infiltrators; this doesn't seem to have happened much so far, but considering how easy it is to fabricate identities on-line it must be only a matter of time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More hopeful than outraged 26 Dec 2013
By Ben Saunders VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
(This book wasn't of much interest to me; the below review was written by my girlfriend, who did a PhD on social movements.)

The first point to note is that Networks of Outrage and Hope is very much part of Castells' wider project of examining and explaining 'networked resistance'. As such you'll get a lot more out of it if you've read some of his earlier work, for example The Rise of the Network Society: Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture v. 1 (Information Age Series): The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture Volume I. Having said that, it works reasonably well as a stand-alone book, and is certainly more than just a sequel.

The focus of this book is 'grassroots' resistance, or 'resistance from below' if you prefer - in short, the power of the 'ordinary' people when they/we begin to make connections. Castells examines the 'Kitchenware' uprising in Iceland (so called because protesters banged pots and pans), the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement - on the surface a disparate selection, but Castells' objective is to examine what links them, which for the most part he does successfully. (No, I'm not going to spoil it for you.) He also indicates why nobody should ignore protests in foreign countries on the grounds that it is irrelevant to their lives; everything, he argues, is interconnected, for example, you may believe a liberal democracy would be unlikely to shut down the country's internet as happened in Egypt - certainly there would be greater practical difficulties - but Castells points out that the idea of a 'Kill Switch' has been mooted in the US to disconnect the internet during an emergency situation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Misplaced optimism?
I have read a number of books who talk about the theory of networks and having distributed organisations, and they always give an example of the Arab Spring. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Andrew Dalby
1.0 out of 5 stars unreadable
a lot of sound and not much fury here. Is it saying anything that one could not deduce from reading the newspapers? No. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dennis McDuff
4.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating
Social movements are a product of the internet age and many of the current national/international "situations" have a social movement mirroring it to some extent. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jack Chakotay
3.0 out of 5 stars Rosy tinted handbook for a revolution
This is quite an optimistic book, written at the point when the Muslim Brotherhood had been elected as moderates in Egypt and it looked as though people's networked revolutions... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Emily - London
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and provocative assessment of the role of social...
There has been much discussion in the media about the role of social media/technologies (Internet, mobile phones etc) in the Middle East and it is generally accepted that social... Read more
Published 7 months ago by D. P. Mankin
3.0 out of 5 stars The New Age of protests
An interesting look at the new wave of social network enabled movements and protests around the world, and what this portends for the future.
Published 9 months ago by George Rodger
4.0 out of 5 stars Empowerment in The Network Age
The 21st century is shaping up to be an entirely different kettle of fish than the previous one and the dynamism of current times is leaving the establishment in all corners of the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Zip Domingo
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