Moving Toward the Center, Speaking from the Margins
This chapter examines the role of the Internet in the identity formation and emerging activism of secularists. The chapter argues that it is the ongoing interaction/contention with religious and nonreligious antagonists/participants in a complex mediated space that both allows and triggers the formation of a more visible and assertive secularist identity that is informationally greater than the sum of its individual participants. Using textual analysis, the chapter discusses and analyze several secularist websites, paying particular attention to the discursive aspects of such activism. In the second part, the chapter seeks to situate atheist activism in a larger political context, drawing on social movement theory to understand the transformative potential of online activism and secularist politics more broadly.
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