Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Ermolaeva P., Ermolaeva Y., Basheva O. Digital Environmental Activism as the New Form of Environmental Participation. Russian Sociological Review, 2020, Vol. 19, No 3, pp. 376-408.



Ermolaeva P., Ermolaeva Y., Basheva O. Digital Environmental Activism as the New Form of Environmental Participation. Russian Sociological Review, 2020, Vol. 19, No 3, pp. 376-408.
ISSN 1728-1938
DOI 10.17323/1728-192x-2020-3-376-408

Posted on site: 15.10.20

URL: https://sociologica.hse.ru/2020-19-3/403317151.html ( 15.10.2020)


Abstract

The article provides acomprehensive study and systematization of the main approaches and theories to the study of digital environmental activism based on arelated-literature analysis. The authors came to the conclusion that, in the conceptualization of adigital environmentalactivism, researchers place emphasis either on the features of the digital technologies that drive such activity, or on the basis of the environmental mobilization itself. In this work, combining both approaches with digital environmental activism, the authors understand the voluntary collective activity around common environmental interests and values that are implemented publicly and voluntarily through the use of new informational and communication technologies. The article discusses the main features of digital environmental activism, which include, on the one hand, the enhancement of environmental knowledge, and the change in the paradigm of interaction between actors in which they become not only consumers of information, but also its active producers. On the other hand, digital practices contribute to the alienation of users from the real protest movement by limiting them to virtual means of interaction; additionally, this form of participation is not accessible to all citizens, thereby generating new forms of digital inequality and social distances. The authors examined various types of digital participation which include clicktivism, meta-voting, self-affirmation, e-finance, political consumer protection, digital petitions, botivism, data activity, and hacktivism. The authors critically assess both established and new theoretical approaches to the study of digital eco-activism such as Castells theory of network society, deliberative democracy, citizen science, socio-psychological theories to explain environmental behavior, and Digital Environmental Humanities. The authors vision of possible options for data synthesis in the study of environmental online activism for the Russian scientific context is proposed.