Taking networked social movements as a fieldsite, I chart how the Occupy Movement transformed as activists turned to building infrastructure as a mode of political participation. Critically, infrastructure is not simply a feature of networked social movements, but forms its core capacities. Integrating insights from militant ethnography with STS research on infrastructure studies, I illustrate how to use these methods to render visible the infrastructure of networked social movements. Because militant research projects and STS scholarship have a dual role of making knowledge about as well as knowledge for participants, examining the epistemological foundations of social movement research requires understanding the researcher’s purpose for participating and, then, operationalizing their knowledge. To illustrate this, I introduce cybercartography, a theory/methods package, for mapping organizational change in order, scale, and scope across networked social movements. As such, cybercartography bridges academic knowledge production with activists’ goals to organize action.
Donovan, Joan. "Toward a Militant Ethnography of Infrastructure: Cybercartographies of Order, Scale, and Scope across the Occupy Movement." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 48.4 (August 2019): 482-509.