The Personalization of Politics

  • Bennett W
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Abstract

This article proposes a framework for understanding large-scale individualized collective action that is often coordinated through digital media technologies. Social fragmentation and the decline of group loyalties have given rise to an era of personalized politics in which individually expressive personal action frames displace collective action frames in many protest causes. This trend can be spotted in the rise of large-scale, rapidly forming political participation aimed at a variety of targets, ranging from parties and candidates, to corporations, brands, and transnational organizations. The group-based “identity politics” of the “new social movements” that arose after the 1960s still exist, but the recent period has seen more diverse mobilizations in which individuals are mobilized around personal lifestyle values to engage with multiple causes such as economic justice (fair trade, inequality, and development policies), environmental protection, and worker and human rights.

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Authors

  • W. Lance Bennett

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