Understanding Critical Communities On and Offline: Irish Feminist Networks in a Post-Repeal Era

Project Details


This project seeks to understand the formation of critical communities. Our objective is to understand how individuals encounter these social movements, participate in them, and become critical individuals within social networks and how these individuals are integrated into communities of political activism. Contemporary research suggests that critical communities in the digital era complicate traditional understandings of the nature of identity and belonging in social movements. For instance; online communications such as forum posts, blogs, and engagement with social media clearly create, maintain, and develop commonality of purpose for activist communities. Yet it also simultaneously facilitates a space in which community can be disrupted and fragmented by internal disagreement and critique. Concurrently meetings, protests, and other community events that occur offline form the basis for an emergent repertoire of understandings of communal identity which are supported, but also challenged, online.

Our central hypothesis is that critical political discourses are circulated by social movements, especially online, and that individuals become increasingly part of these communities by adopting and adapting these critiques. Thus, critique becomes literally endemic to these communities, animating internal discussion and relations to others, both in the online and offline world. This research project aims to further our understanding of the complexity of meaning associated with critical communities, and the social construction of critical subcultures co-created by digital technology.

Layman's description

This project examines political activism in the aftermath of Ireland's 'Repeal the 8th' campaign. It seeks to understand how individuals participate in political movements in the contemporary era, with a specific focus on how critical discourse is created within these movements. The project will explore the role of digital technologies in these processes, focusing on how people and groups use online communications and online activism to coordinate but also to challenge, their identity as an activist engaged in critical discourse.

Effective start/end date01/09/201931/08/2023

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.