Exploring the Context-Sensitivity of Collective Action Motivations and the Mobilizing Role of Social Media: A Comparative Interview Study With Activists in Germany and Turkey

Odağ Ö., Uluğ Ö. M., Kanık B., Maganić M. M.

Political Psychology, vol.44, no.2, pp.235-255, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/pops.12836
  • Journal Name: Political Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication Abstracts, Political Science Complete, Psycinfo, Public Administration Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.235-255
  • Keywords: collective action, social media, political participation, social identity, perceived efficacy, perceived injustice, cost-benefit analyses, Germany, Turkey, perceived risk
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 International Society of Political Psychology.Western scholarship has underlined the relevance of social identity, perceived efficacy, emotions, and cost–benefit assessments as central catalysts of collective action. Little has been done to understand the context-sensitivity of these catalysts by means of cross-culturally comparative designs. The current study explores their context-sensitivity. It aims to find out whether existing opportunity structures in a democratic, nonrepressive country like Germany produce catalysts of collective action different from those produced in an autocratic, repressive country like Turkey. It also aims to understand the role of social media in mobilizing people in these two contexts. Semistandardized interviews with activists were carried out in both countries (n = 18 in Germany and n = 15 in Turkey) and analyzed by means of a cross-culturally comparative inductive coding procedure including initial and focused coding. Results show that collective action is related to different configurations of collective-action catalysts in the two countries. Solidarity concerns at the face of existential risks are more pronounced in Turkey, whereas political-change concerns are more important in Germany. The role of social media accordingly differs, adhering to the different activist goals. Theoretical implications for the role of context in studying collective action are discussed.