The Case of Scientology and its Internet Critics - 1998-09-01
Abstract The interaction between social movements and countermovements is a key aspect of resource mobilization theory, yet researchers have devoted comparatively little study to it. This article uses the conflict between Scientology and its Internet critics as a case study in movement/countermovement interaction, concentrating on resource deprivation and damaging actions. The uniqueness of Internet communication, however, requires adjustments to traditional resource mobilization theory in order to theorize this conflict, and this article proposes two refinements. First, the study of Internet movement/countermovement interaction involves the displacement of the normally-central role of the state in resource mobilization theory. Second, a rethinking of the definition of resources to include "virtual" resources facilitates movement/countermovement analysis on the Internet.