Boycott Toolkit : collaborative research for collective economic action
Author(s)Levinger, Joshua Sable
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences.
Christopher P. Csikszentmihályi.
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Many modern social movements advocate boycotts as a mechanism to pursue social change. However, these campaigns are often broad in scope and limited to committed activists as potential adherents. This thesis describes a web-based platform to organize highly targeted boycotts, perform collaborative research, and disseminate information through social networks. The approach differs from current boycott lists by allowing for community contributed content and by linking specific geographic contexts with potential individual actions. To better understand the needs of a real-world boycott campaign, the author traveled to Israel and the West Bank to meet with human rights advocates, international aid workers, journalists and activists. This field work suggested an appropriate structure in which a better boycott could be developed. After fully developing a tool that addressed these needs and constraints, the tool was broadened to demonstrate wider applications. The Boycott Toolkit was deployed to an international network of activists with seven campaigns that follow several major ongoing boycotts of today. These focused on a diverse set of issues: immigrant rights, environmental justice, marriage equality, reactionary media, and the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. The project was released to media attention, and a user survey indicated an appreciation for the careful differentiation between targets, revealing an enthusiastic, though small, set of active contributors.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2010.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences.