Exploring the form and function of dissident Irish Republican online discourses

Bowman-Grieve, Lorraine and Conway, Maura (2012) Exploring the form and function of dissident Irish Republican online discourses. Media, War and Conflict, 5 (1). pp. 71-85. ISSN 1750-6352

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Exploring the form and function of dissident Irish Republican online discourses
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Abstract

This article seeks to contribute to broadening the focus of research in the area of violent online political extremism by examining the use of the internet by dissident Irish Republicans and their supporters. The argument here is not that the internet substitutes face-to-face contacts amongst Irish Republicans, including violent dissidents, nor that it currently plays a central role in processes of radicalisation into violent dissident groups, but that it has an important support function in terms of providing an ‘always-on’ space for discussion, consumption, and production of Irish Republicanism and thus a potentially educative role in terms of introducing ‘newbies’ to violent dissident Republicanism while also acting as a ‘maintenance’ space for the already committed. This exploratory study considers the importance of these functions in the context of repeated suggestions that the dissidents have no significant support base or constituency as internet activity certainly gives the appearance of some such support.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This article seeks to contribute to broadening the focus of research in the area of violent online political extremism by examining the use of the internet by dissident Irish Republicans and their supporters. The argument here is not that the internet substitutes face-to-face contacts amongst Irish Republicans, including violent dissidents, nor that it currently plays a central role in processes of radicalisation into violent dissident groups, but that it has an important support function in terms of providing an ‘always-on’ space for discussion, consumption, and production of Irish Republicanism and thus a potentially educative role in terms of introducing ‘newbies’ to violent dissident Republicanism while also acting as a ‘maintenance’ space for the already committed. This exploratory study considers the importance of these functions in the context of repeated suggestions that the dissidents have no significant support base or constituency as internet activity certainly gives the appearance of some such support.
Keywords:dissidents, forums, internet, Irish Republicanism, terrorism, websites, Web 2.0
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:6188
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:18 Sep 2012 20:45
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:13

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