The social identity perspective of social media leadership in collective action participation

Uysal M. S., AKFIRAT S.

JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY & APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol.32, no.6, pp.1001-1015, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/casp.2502
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, PASCAL, CINAHL, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1001-1015
  • Keywords: collective action, Gezi Park protests in Turkey, identity-leadership, social identity, social media
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


This study examines the Gezi Park protests in Turkey by corroborating the idea that the process of social identity leadership through social media contributes to the formation of protestor identity, which, in turn, allows people to participate in collective action. Specifically, we argued that evaluations of social media posts in terms of the three dimensions of the Identity-Leadership Model (ILM)-identity prototypicality, advancement and the entrepreneurship of leaders, play a crucial role in collective action participation via identification with newly shaped protestor group. To address this argument, a retrospective survey study was conducted with a sample of 403 Turkish citizens who participated in the Gezi Park protests. Analyses showed that the three dimensions of ILM predicted the identification with the emergent protestor group. Furthermore, people's evaluations of social media users regarding group prototypicality, identity advancement and the entrepreneurship dimensions, based on their social media posts predicted participation in the Gezi Park protests following the calls of different types of social media accounts (personal, anonymous and institutional). In addition to this, identification with the protestor group significantly mediated the relationships between evaluations on social media accounts' leadership features between participation in collective action. We believe that our findings show that social identity leadership through social media contributes to the formation of a protestor group and identity which in turn, helps explain participation in collective action.