From Organizational-Centric Engagement to Network-Centric Engagement: The Role of Autonomous Public Communities in a Mediated Public Policy Advocacy Network

SAGE Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Social Media and Society, 2021, 7, (3), pp. 205630512110382-205630512110382
Issue Date:
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In this study, we explore how a social movement organization ( and its autonomous public community advocated for the Green New Deal on social media. An autonomous public community is a group of publics that initially connect with each other through their engagement with a focal organization. Then, they go on to develop ties among themselves that go beyond simply responding to organizations’ messages. Autonomous public communities are ubiquitous on social media. Our research identifies unique patterns of interactions in an autonomous public community and finds that the Tertius Iungens orientation brings the network together. We also find that while the focal organization is not centralized in an autonomous public community, it still significantly affects tie formation and discourse as the networks evolve. Our study reveals a nuanced understanding of networked organization–public engagement where network structure and discourse are co-created by the organizations and the communities that they engage.
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