Anastasia Kavada
University of Westminster.

Decentralized and internally diverse, the Global Justice Movement (GJM) is thought to be influenced by its use of the internet. Operating in an environment characterized by the conditions of globalization and late modernity, the movement strives to be a collective that accommodates individual difference. Focusing on the organizing process of the European Social Forum, this article examines the role of email lists and physical meetings in realizing this ‘unity in diversity’. Based on interviews with movement activists and a content analysis of three email lists, this article examines how online and face-to-face communication practices engender different dynamics in terms of individuality and collectiveness. While communication on email lists tends to afford divergence, diversity, and individual autonomy, face-to-face contact enables convergence, unity and the affirmation of the collective. Thus, it is the combination of those two modes of communication that helps the movement to fuse seemingly opposing dynamics.

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