Summaries for articles needed


Hi I need summaries for each article/video below (200-300 words each)

Ellen Ullman,

“Outside of Time”

Mia Consalvo, “

Gaining advantage: How videogame players define and negotiate cheating

Pierre Bourdieu, “

How Can One be a Sports Fan?

Daniel Kriess, “

Developing the “Good Citizen”: Digital Artifacts, Peer Networks, and Formal Organization During the 2003–2004 Howard Dean Campaign


For these three articles/video, there might be limited resource online, but you could just write a summary or related facts of it.

Howard Rheingold, “The Virtual Community”

Masco, Joseph. “Life Underground: Building the Bunker Society.” Anthropology Now, vol. 1, no. 2, 2009, pp. 13–29. JSTOR, JSTOR,

SensiblePrepper, director. Preppers Are Crazy. Youtube, 16 Mar. 2012,


Meanwhile, I attached my paper proposal and I need a thesis statement for that.

And it’d be perfect if you can write the summary or conclude the readings somehow related to my proposal/thesis.

Thank you very much.

Documents I need:

Summaries for 4 attached articles and 3 unattached ones (200-300 each)


One thesis statement according to my proposal attached.


Proposal for the paper:

The personality shift among Facebook users and its impact on digital communication

This study seeks to establish the differences between the personality that Facebook users establish on the internet how it impacts digital communication. Facebook is a subculture of the wider social media culture. The following research questions will guide the study.

  • Does the personality that one adopt on Facebook differ from real life?
  • To what extent does it differ?
  • Does one trust the personality of the other online users?
  • How does this affect communication between Facebook users?

Various researchers have reported a difference in personality adopted by Facebook users although there is little data to tie it to digital communication. For instance, a series of surveys by Lenhardt, Smith & Anderson (2015) showed that up to 42% of Facebook users adopt a synthetic personality.

The study will follow a quantitative research method, and where Facebook users will be requested to fill out a survey hosted online.

Data will be presented in form of percentages and graphs for ease of understanding and analysis.

Journal of Information Technology & Politics
ISSN: 1933-1681 (Print) 1933-169X (Online) Journal homepage:
Developing the “Good Citizen”: Digital Artifacts,
Peer Networks, and Formal Organization During
the 2003–2004 Howard Dean Campaign
Daniel Kreiss
To cite this article: Daniel Kreiss (2009) Developing the “Good Citizen”: Digital Artifacts, Peer
Networks, and Formal Organization During the 2003–2004 Howard Dean Campaign, Journal of
Information Technology & Politics, 6:3-4, 281-297, DOI: 10.1080/19331680903035441
To link to this article:
Published online: 27 Jul 2009.
Submit your article to this journal
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Date: 04 January 2018, At: 15:21
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Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 6:281–297, 2009
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 1933-1681 print/1933-169X online
DOI: 10.1080/19331680903035441
Developing the “Good Citizen”: Digital Artifacts,
Peer Networks, and Formal Organization During
the 2003–2004 Howard Dean Campaign
Daniel Kreiss
ABSTRACT. The 2003-2004 Howard Dean campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is
often heralded as the prototypical example of peer-driven politics. Building from an emerging body of
literature on the Dean campaign, through interviews with key staffers and a survey of public documents I complicate this view by analyzing the interplay between the formal campaign organization,
digital artifacts, and citizen networks. I demonstrate that from the earliest days of the primary the campaign developed strategies and innovative organizational practices for convening and harnessing citizen networks. Drawing on analytical perspectives that combine Foucauldian “governmentality” and
actor-network theory, I argue that this was facilitated through the deployment of a set of artifacts that
realized and leveraged “networked sociality.” Finally, I argue that while the Internet Division of the
campaign adopted many “postbureaucratic” practices, it was embedded in a formal organizational
hierarchy that shaped its technical work.
KEYWORDS. Actor-network theory, campaigns, democracy, Internet, open source politics,
organizations, peer production
On a warm August night in 2003, Governor
Howard Dean, frontrunner for the Democratic
presidential nomination, bounded up on stage in
New York City’s Bryant Park carrying a red
inflatable baseball bat. In the midst of a drive to
raise $1 million before the governor’s appearance, a comment on Blog For America suggested that, in recognition of their achievement,
Dean carry the bat as a reference to the online
graphic that showed donors their progress
towards the goal. For Dean’s Campaign Manager
Joe Trippi (2005, p. 8) this was a canonical
moment, symbolic of the fact that volunteers
and small donors had ownership over the
campaign through the use of new online
networked communications tools. Many academic accounts echo Trippi in emphasizing the
peer-to-peer processes that appeared to be driving the Dean campaign. For example, Henry
Jenkins (2006, p. 208) argues that “peer-to-peer
rather than one-to-many communication” characterized the campaign. Lawrence Lessig
(2003) argues that the Dean effort demonstrated
“yet another context into which open source
ideals can usefully migrate,” while Manuel
Castells (2007, p. 251) describes the campaign
as an example of “autonomous forms of political organizing.”
Daniel Kreiss is a Ph.D. candidate in Stanford University’s Department of Communication.
The author thanks the anonymous readers of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics; Fred
Turner, Nicholas Anstead, and David Karpf for detailed readings of earlier drafts of this article; and is
indebted to the insightful comments of the audience at the Politics: Web 2.0 conference hosted at University
of London, Royal Holloway, April 17–18, 2008.
Address correspondence to: Daniel Kreiss, Department of Communication, Building 120, 450 Serra
Mall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2050 (E-mail:
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These characterizations in turn reflect paradigmatic theoretical perspectives that proceed
from and rework well-established theories of
collective action (Olson, 1965; Tarrow, 1998)
in positing how new communications technologies are fundamentally reshaping the problem
of “free riding” and the necessity of formal,
hierarchical organizations. Bimber, Flanagin, and
Stohl (2005, p. 381) argue that “self-organizing”
increasingly characterizes collective action in a
world with dramatically falling information
costs and routine “private-to-public boundary
spanning.” Meanwhile, similar to other formulations of networks as a distinct organizational
form (Podolny & Page, 1998; Powell, 1990),
Benkler’s (2002, 2006) influential theory of
“commons-based peer production” describes
voluntary, leveled, and communicatively reciprocal networked collaboration that is distinct
from both the firm (Coase, 1937; Williamson,
1975) and the market. This new form of largescale collective action is posited to have great
import for political practice, especially with
regard to the public sphere, and is made possible by “decentralized information gathering and
exchange” (Benkler, 2002, p. 375).
While these analytical approaches do not
entirely overlook the existence and persistence
of formal, hierarchical organizations in a
world suffused by networks, these structures
are generally understudied or assumed to be
taking on features of networks, given shifts in
the information environment. For example,
Benkler (2002, p. 391) acknowledges the role
of formal organizations in convening and
“harnessing” peer production, but there is a
general lack of attention to the ways this
occurs and the interactions between organizational forms. Indeed, much work on commonsbased peer production proceeds as if networks
are autonomous organizational entities. Meanwhile, a body of work on “postbureaucratic
organizations” (Heckscher & Donnellon, 1994)
posits that some formal organizations increasingly resemble networks. In the political
domain, Bimber (2003) argues that postbureaucracy is characterized by a flexible
structure, an acute orientation to changes in
the external environment, and a decline in formal roles as contracts between individuals,
collaborations, and partnerships take place
outside of the formal organization.
This study turns to the Howard Dean campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to explore the relationship between digital
artifacts, formal campaign organizations, and
peer networks. Despite a rich body of theory on
collective action, empirical research on the
organizational structures and technical practices of electoral campaigns is surprisingly limited. Students of politics generally have little
purchase on the processes by which artifacts are
adopted by campaign organizations, and many
studies detailing how candidates use new media
(Bimber & Davis, 2003; Howard, 2006) were
conducted prior to the emergence of the socialtechnical practices that broadly characterize
“Web 2.0 environments” (Chadwick, 2009, p. 34).
Meanwhile, an emerging body of work finds
the Dean effort to be a rich research site, given
the campaign’s unprecedented adoption of network theory and Internet applications (Foot &
Schneider, 2006; Wiese & Gronbeck, 2005).
These studies undermine many accounts of the
campaign as a uniquely participatory, emergent, and decentralized phenomenon. For
example, Hindman (2005, 2008) demonstrates
how the campaign used the Internet to revolutionize the “backend” of institutionalized political practice: fundraising, volunteer recruitment,
and voter mobilization. In addition, a body of
work documents the limits of interactivity, lack
of substantive forms of citizen participation on
the campaign (Haas, 2006; Stromer-Galley &
Baker, 2006), and ongoing importance of
formal organizations and elite professionals in
collaborative, participatory campaign practices
(Hindman, 2007, p. 195).
In turn, a number of scholars have pointed to
the organizational complexity of the campaign.
Jett and Välikangas (2004, p. 3) characterize
the campaign as a form of “open source organizing” that is “a network in many respects, but
it also exhibits the fluidity of a market and the
goal-oriented discipline of a formal organization.” Taking a more meso-level view, in an
analysis that includes the Dean campaign,
Chadwick (2007, p. 14) draws from social
movement theory to argue that “digital network
repertoires” facilitate the creation of “hybrid”
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organizational forms that use “mobilization
strategies typically associated with parties,
interest groups, and new social movements.”
Each of these perspectives makes a valuable
contribution in providing an analytical framework for thinking about networked collective
action in a way that avoids overemphasizing
peer-to-peer processes while paying close
attention to the complexities of organizational
forms and practices.
This article extends this empirical work on
the Dean campaign and contributes to theoretical perspectives on networked politics by
closely detailing the campaign’s organizational and technical practices. Through openended interviews with key staffers and a survey
of public documents, including archived Web
pages, professional press articles, blog posts,
and first-hand accounts, especially Trippi’s
(2004) autobiographical The Revolution Will
Not Be Televised and Streeter and Teachout’s
(2007) edited collection Mousepads, Shoe
Leather, and Hope, this article proceeds in
three parts.1 I begin by discussing the strategy
behind the campaign’s uptake of networked
communications tools and argue that staffers
and consultants developed a novel set of practices that centered and thus leveraged the peerto-peer networks that emerged independently
of the campaign early in the primaries. Drawing from analytical perspectives that couple
Foucauldian governmentality and actornetwork theory, I next turn to analysis of the
innovative networked artifacts that realized
and structured digitally “networked sociality”
(Wittel, 2001) to further backend campaign
practices, detailing how campaign staffers’
version of the “good citizen” (Schudson,
1998) was technically and discursively produced. I then show how these practices were
shaped by, and in turn influenced, formal
organizational processes, especially as peer
networks served as resources for staffers
and advisors in internal organizational conflicts. In the process I argue that the case of the
Dean campaign suggests that collaborative
peer networks are structured by the demands
of an inter-organizational environment,
political institutions, and intra-organizational
By the late summer of 2003, Howard Dean,
former governor of Vermont, was at the top of
the polls for the Democratic presidential nomination despite entering the race as an outsider
candidate. To many close observers of politics,
Dean’s meteoric rise was fueled by new Internet applications including blogs and Meetup—a
Web site that facilitates offline gatherings—
that enabled citizens to self-organize. Trippi
(2003) even argued that the role of the formal
campaign organization was simply to “provide
the tools and some of the direction . . . and get
the hell out of the way when a big wave is
building on its own.” While this is a romantically democratic account, in reality these citizen networks were convened and harnessed for
backend labor through an innovative set of
organizational and technical practices honed by
the formal campaign organization. As Jerome
Armstrong (2006), an influential progressive
blogger who served as an advisor and consultant for the campaign, described their strategy:
Much has been said about the decentralized and emergent quality of the Howard
Dean campaign, and many people,
actions, and efforts did emerge with the
volition to join in word and deed; but from
the very beginning, from May and June of
2002, there was tactic encouragement of
the decentralized campaign, from the very
Understanding how this strategy developed
is contingent upon the detailed consideration of
the socio-technical context within which the
2003–2004 primaries occurred. Political blogs,
while not new, had growing user-bases and
visibility by 2002, the time when potential candidates were making initial hires to staff their
nascent campaign organizations. Blogs served
as sites for Democratic Party activists to discuss
politics and candidates independently of the
formal campaigns, many of which lacked dedicated Web sites for presidential runs until the
fall and winter of 2002, and even then were
technically unsophisticated.2 The majority of
these online progressive party activists and
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bloggers were interested in and active promoters of Dean’s candidacy, becoming engaged
well before he formally announced his intention
to run for the nomination. This was, in part, a
result of Dean’s antiwar stance, which appealed
to the base of the party.
Not only did Dean’s independent online support outstrip that of the other candidates early in
the primary cycle, it also proved highly consequential with respect to identifying and taking
advantage of opportunities that were later leveraged by the campaign. During the summer of
2002, a network of blogs including MyDD, run
by Jerome Armstrong, and the volunteer-created
and administered Howard Dean 2004 (later
called Dean Nation) not only provided activists
with outlets to become engaged in Dean’s
candidacy in the absence of a fully functional
formal campaign organization, these efforts
also served as Dean’s de facto Internet presence. For example, when William Finkel of
Meetup was contacting all the Democratic primary candidates in early 2003 to offer them formalized use of the online application, he wrote
to the volunteer administrator of Howard Dean
2004, Aziz Poonawalla. After featuring a link
on the site, Howard Dean 2004 drove the initial
use and growth of Meetup among the campaign’s supporters. Armstrong (2007, pg. 47)
eventually put Finkel in touch with Trippi and
convinced the campaign to adopt it as an organizing tool, making Dean the only candidate
that responded to the firm’s initial inquiry.
Meetup went on to become the organizational
core of Dean’s online effort and a significant
fundraising vehicle. Just as importantly, it was
a symbol of the campaign’s technological proficiency for the political press. By the summer of
2003, Meetup supporters even served as a transparent and verifiable metric for political journalists to judge the strength of primary
These blogs were also hubs of online activity
that the campaign strove to incorporate to garner financial and human resources. After Trippi
formally joined the candidate as Campaign
Manager in January 2003, he sought to provide
coordinated, routine direction to these volunteer
efforts by convening them through the networked technologies of the formal campaign
organization. Armstrong recalls a meeting in
early 2003 with his consulting partner Markos
Moulitsas Zúnigu, founder of the blog Daily Kos,
and Trippi, during which they crafted the broad
contours of the campaign’s Internet strategy:
The three of us discussed what we
believed could be brought inside the campaign from the ongoing decentralized
effort—the gist of “the revolution” being
to launch an official national campaign
blog, where the online community, fundraising, and organizing efforts could be
centralized. . . . (Armstrong, 2007, p. 45)
This strategy was implemented through the
campaign’s Internet Division, which crafted
novel organizational practices and deployed
networked artifacts including blogs and Meetup
to bring extant and new networks inside its
sphere of operations and thus provide them
with direction. As such, the campaign worked
toward creating and fostering a geographically
distributed community of bloggers, supporters,
volunteers, and funders that congregated at the
Web site and blog and monitored the activities
there. The aim was to ensure that supporters
could be routinely and quickly mobilized to
perform the fundraising and organizing tasks
that needed to be accomplished, often to attract
press coverage.
To implement this strategy, the campaign
recruited and hired a number of staffers for the
Internet Division who had technical expertise
from outside the political field and often in
commercial settings. Trippi (2004, p. 54) himself exemplified the way some of these staffers
bridged professional fields: he possessed nearly
three decades of experience running political
campaigns, in addition to having worked for a
number of Internet startups during the late
1990s that he referred to as “a few brash young
companies,” including Wave Systems, Smart
Paper Networks, and Progeny Linux Systems.
Trippi argued that this work shaped his understanding of how technology could be used in
electoral politics. He was joined on the
campaign by a number of individuals who possessed less extensive political experience, but
who shared knowledge and skills relating to the
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Internet that were then applied to a political
campaign. These resources were essentially
carried across contexts, a phenomenon that a
number of scholars have noted with respect to
social movement organizations (Gusfield,
1981; Staggenborg, 1988; Taylor, 1989).
On the one hand, this was reflected organizationally. For example, Bobby Clark (2007, p. 77),
an entrepreneur who worked on technology
startups in Colorado and California, was the
first Web strategist for the campaign and
recruited his former colleague, Dave Kochbeck,
to serve as the campaign’s first information
technology (IT) director. Clark describes how
Kochbeck’s commercial technology experience helped him understand the challenges of a
campaign, as he “served as our campaign’s
chief technology officer (CTO), as he had for
our San Francisco startup. . . .” (Clark, 2007,
p. 77). On the other, these professional and
technical skills helped shape the practices of the
campaign. Clay Johnson, a freelance technology consultant and lead programmer for Dean,
and Nicco Mele, the Webmaster for the campaign who had extensive experience in similar
positions with various progressive organizations, were both central figures who created the
campaign’s technical infrastructure. Staffers
within the Internet Division also included
Matthew Gross and Joe Rospars, both of whom
were bloggers prior to joining the campaign and
were instrumental in the launch and development
of Blog for America, the first blog hosted by a
presidential campaign. In characterizing their
approach to using the Internet in electoral politics, Zack Rosen (personal communication, April
7, 2008), a volunteer developer with Hack4Dean
who was hired as a staff member in late fall 2003,
described the Internet Division in new economy
terms as “feeling like a creative, creative project
rather than a managed organization.”
Professional backgrounds alone do not
explain the organizational and technical innovations of the Dean campaign, because a
number of candidates had Internet staff members that similarly bridged fields.3 Many staffers also attribute these innovations to a
willingness to experiment born of the widespread acknowledgment during the early stages
of the primaries that a fresh approach was
necessary to be competitive. This was all the
more important given the candidate’s limited
resources and name recognition, his estrangement from the Democratic Party’s establishment, and the press’s relative dismissal of the
candidacy. This helped foster what Zephyr
Teachout (personal communication, July 10,
2008), Dean’s Director of Online Organizing,
characterizes as innovation born of necessity,
and this was supported by Trippi’s considerable
resources as Campaign Manager. For staffers
within the Internet Division, Web-based tools
including blogs and Meetup maximized the
resources of the campaign by leveraging the
work of thousands of supporters and volunteers. A
conversation in early 2003 between Armstrong
(2006) and Trippi makes this clear: “You don’t
understand,” said Joe. “This campaign has no
money. Look, John Kerry has a list of 20,000
hardcore supporters, nationwide, OK. . . . How
are you guys going to get Howard Dean enough
people to go head to head with John Kerry? Can
the Net do this?”
As such, these concerns drove much of the
campaign’s uptake of networked tools. The
Internet not only provided resources, but was
also the basis for staged, high-profile events
that attracted press coverage, as journalists marveled at Dean’s success in raising money in
small online increments, part of the campaign’s
communications strategy detailed below (see
Armstrong, 2007, p. 50). Through online fundraising and Meetup, Dean was not only able to
keep pace with Kerry’s fundraising and volunteer operation, but by summer of 2003 actually
exceeded him. At the same time, online fundraising, combined with the continued growth of
Dean Meetups, served to legitimate the campaign for other actors in the field, especially
journalists, but by extension elected officials
and the public; this was reflected in Dean’s
high-profile endorsements and rise in the polls
throughout 2003.
All of this was premised on the development
and deployment of networked artifacts that
were themselves the result of novel organizational practices. Similar to the commercial
firms that Neff and Stark (2003) describe as
“permanently beta” with their flexible organizational structures and continuously developed
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and in-process products, the campaign’s Internet Division turned to the Web to recruit the
volunteers and consultants who helped develop
many of the networked artifacts that the
campaign ultimately deployed. As Teachout
(2007, p. 68) describes, when the Internet Division needed a new organizing tool they would
often “put up a request for help on the blog.” At
other times technical projects that originated in
the supporter community were incorporated
into the campaign. For example, the volunteer
group Hack4Dean, a distributed network of
over 100 programmers, developed the Web
application DeanSpace, a toolkit built on the
open source platform Drupal that enabled supporters to set up their own Web sites and plan
events for Dean. Mele (personal communication, July 29, 2008), Dean’s Webmaster, argues
that these practices of utilizing a volunteer base
tied together the political culture of the grassroots and “the open source, collaborative
world.” That said, they were also compelled by
the limited resources of the campaign. Given a
lack of programmers, staffers were used to
going online and “asking for help when we
needed it” (Teachout, 2007, p. 68). There was
also the expediency in some cases of reaching
beyond the formal boundaries of the organization given the “political maneuvering” necessary to have technical needs addressed in an
environment with limited resources and competing staff priorities (Nuxoll, 2007, p. 197;
Teachout, 2007, p. 66),
As is clear, many of the organizational practices of the Internet Division resemble the features of postbureaucratic organizations detailed
by Bimber (2003). Indeed, the postbureaucratic
work style of the Internet staffers is what
enabled the campaign to center the labor of peer
networks. Staffers responsible for Internet
fundraising and Meetup were constantly capturing and monitoring fundraising data and volunteer numbers, tailoring their work to respond to
the labor of peer networks and changes in the
campaign environment. Staffers were also, at
times, attentive to comments on Blog for America
and used their own posts to rebut charges from
rivals, respond to professional press articles,
disseminate the campaign’s messages, and
issue calls to action. In essence, they convened
their own 24-hour alternative messaging service that was highly responsive to the campaign
environment. In turn, many staffers cited how
their positions on the Internet team were more
fluid than those of other divisions, as they grappled with shared technical challenges, worked
on collaborative projects, and interacted with the
peer networks around the formal organization.
This does not mean that there was no specialization or formal processes within the Internet
Division. Mele (personal communication, July 29,
2008) had deep knowledge of the Internet’s use
in political and advocacy campaigns and
describes a sentiment echoed by many other
staffers: “In the beginning we were very reactive, we were trying to figure this out on the
fly.” Over time, he argues, the campaign developed more stable goals and routines relating to
e-mail list growth and organizing, while staffers
increasingly took on more defined tasks. Zack
Rosen (personal communication, April 7, 2008)
describes how routines coexisted with the
demands of networks:
There definitely was some formal management and formal work processes that
had to be done to run a national organization. The Web site needs to be updated,
you’d be writing, blogging, there’s newsletters and fundraising. All the necessities
of a national campaign organization had
to be filled. But in addition to that was a
bunch of work that had to do with directly
leveraging the work that was done outside
of the national campaign organization by
the volunteers independently.
These tasks were continually negotiated in
practice, and through interactions with the other
divisions of the campaign.
The practices of the Internet Division
resulted in an extraordinary array of Web-based
tools that were not only innovations in the political field, but also stood alongside some of the
earliest prototypes of what we now refer to as
“social networking” sites. To analyze these
shifts in political practice, I draw from theorists
that couple Foucauldian “governmentality”
and actor-network theory. I argue that these
artifacts realized certain citizenship practices
while harnessing the work of peer networks
towards the campaign’s strategic ends.
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The Dean campaign was the first electoral
effort to widely deploy new media platforms to
realize, convene, and make visible social networks in order to channel their collaborative
labor towards organizational goals. As such,
digital artifacts were innovative means of connecting citizens to political institutions and
structuring their practices. This occurred
through the leveraging of digitally “networked
sociality,” which Wittel (2001, p. 51) describes
as consisting of “fleeting and transient, yet iterative social relations; of ephemeral but intense
encounters. . . . In network sociality the social
bond at work is not bureaucratic but informational; it is created on a project-by-project
basis, by the movement of ideas. . . .” While
Wittel is concerned more broadly with the
social practice of network-making, for the purposes here I refer only to the collaborative
social mode that characterized the digital peer
networks clustered around and convened by the
Dean campaign. In predating both the coining
of the phrase Web 2.0 (Scholz, 2008) and the
commercial applications including Facebook
and YouTube that are now synonymous with
social networking, the campaign was a prototype for the socio-technical practices that, as
Chadwick (2009, p. 16) argues, constitute a turn
from the “deliberative assumption.”
While the literature on peer production and
new forms of online collective action generally
lacks a theoretical account of the relationship
between formal organizations, peer networks,
and mediating artifacts, science and technology
studies offers a series of conceptual tools for
analyzing the ways power is exercised through
and structures networks. In recent years a number of scholars have productively combined
actor-network theory with Foucauldian “governmentality” approaches to theorize relations
of power in socio-technical practice. For Foucault, “governmentality,” or “the conduct of
conduct,” “refers to all endeavors to shape,
guide, and direct the conduct of others … and it
also embraces the ways in which one might be
urged and educated to bridle one’s passions, to
control one’s instincts, to govern oneself”
(Rose, 1999, p. 3). As such, governmentality
does not explicitly relate to the state and
extends beyond overtly controlling and constraining forms of domination, detailing the
multiple ways power is productive of actions,
guiding and shaping them from various sites
(Burchell, 1996, p. 19). Extending Foucault, theorists have used actor-network theory (Callon,
1986; Latour, 2005; Latour & Weibel, 2005;
Law & Hassard, 1999) to analyze the role of
artifacts in structuring particular practices of
citizenship. For example, Barry (2000, 2001)
argues for research into the politics of interactivity, suggesting that through engagement with
artifacts and technical regimes, we cede agency
to tools that are productive of actions in structured ways (see also Andrejevic, 2004;
Stromer-Galley, 2004). Of particular interest
are the ways technical devices are embedded in
assemblages that facilitate what Latour (1987)
refers to as “action at a distance.” Barry,
Osborne, and Rose (1996, p. 12) for instance
describe how artifacts deployed at local sites
help enroll citizens in networks that have state
power as their effect.
The work of these theorists provides a lens
for analyzing the artifacts that mediated
between the Dean campaign and the peer networks that predated and were constituted by it.
As noted above, the Internet Division actively
sought to develop and implement online applications that would maximize the campaign’s
resources, given the uphill nature of Dean’s bid
for the nomination. To that end the Internet
Division of the campaign used technically
skilled volunteer labor along with paid consultants to develop a host of applications for the
campaign that were not only innovations in the
political field but were both inspired by and
stood alongside early commercial social networking Web sites. For example, DeanLink
was a social networking Web site modeled after
Friendster (Teachout, 2007, p. 69), and Generation Dean was a virtual community for young
supporters (Michel, 2007, p. 155). GetLocal,
developed with the help of Zach Exley, then the
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Organizing Director of, “allowed
people to offer political events to those who
wanted to attend, and turned the candidate Web
site into a place where people could find each
other. . . .” (Teachout, 2007, p. 65). This tool
supplemented, but did not replace, Meetup, and
provided greater functionality for supporters.
Finally, TeamRaiser was a Web-based fundraising application developed for nonprofits by
the firm Convio, which the campaign modified
to enable volunteers to set fundraising goals on
personalized Web pages (Larry Biddle, personal communication, October 20, 2008).
While these social networking technologies
afforded supporters the opportunity to digitally
gather around the campaign and form online,
and even in-person, social relationships based
on their political interests, identity, and geographic location, the successful channeling of
this networked sociality towards the ends of the
campaign entailed indirect forms of structuring
citizen participation given that these peer networks were outside the boundaries of the formal organization. This involved technically
producing certain types of citizenship practices
along with legitimating select forms of participation through the hosting and design of these
social spaces, messaging through e-mail and the
blog, and, at times, direct staff contact. For
example, much of the design and functionality
of the Dean For America Web site reflected the
campaign’s priorities by steering users towards
contribution pages and offering interactivity
only in select domains: users had numerous
opportunities to make a donation to the campaign but could not contribute to a policy platform (Haas, 2006). Other applications were
explicitly designed to leverage off- and online
social relationships for the ends of the campaign. The TeamRaiser pages, which provided
supporters with the opportunity to “create their
own content on personal pages within the Web
site—most often telling friends and family why
they supported Howard Dean and asking them
to do the same,” were directed towards fundraising and were estimated to have helped raise
“more than $1 million for the campaign”
(Clark, 2007, p. 84). Meanwhile, DeanSpace
enabled supporters to create their own affinityand identity-based group blogs and forums for
Dean, which were then networked through syndication technologies that allowed the sharing
of content (Koenig, 2007, p. 207; Lebkowsky,
2005, p. 6), including that produced by the official organization.
Dean staffers within the formal organization
in turn were acutely involved in the work of
these networks. For example, there was a
National Meetup Coordinator within the campaign’s field operations who was responsible
for working with these groups. Michael Silberman (personal communication, July 28, 2008)
describes some of the challenges he faced in
this role, as volunteers
. . . wanted to help elect Howard Dean
president. Their goal was to do whatever
we said was most useful. On the other
hand, we had to be really careful of not
being too much command and control
because they were all volunteers, we
didn’t know what worked in every community. . . . Even though a lot of the
campaign was described as self-organized, people want to check in with the
campaign and have a direct line to the
campaign. . . .
This direct line consisted not only of best practices for the volunteers who were new to politics, but also detailed agendas for the volunteer
hosts of Meetups that clearly conveyed the
priorities of the campaign (Silberman, 2007,
p. 114; see the Appendix). In many respects,
the Meetup program resembled traditional field
operations, but with a greater reliance on volunteer leaders to self-identify and play a staffers’
role in their own community, all of which was
facilitated by an Internet application that
enabled supporters to quickly and easily find
their geographically proximate peers.
The socio-technical practices that leveraged
networked sociality occurred in conjunction
with the narrowcasting communication and
data management practices that were institutionalized in the field and that Howard (2006)
argues realizes forms of “managed citizenship.”
This was clear in that while the campaign
deployed many new social networking applications, e-mail remained the primary vehicle
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through which the Field, Internet, and Finance
divisions delivered messages to supporters. As
Kelly Nuxoll (personal communication,
November 19, 2008), the E-mail Director for
the campaign, argues: “The campaign used email as a broadcast mechanism rather than as a
two-way mechanism” in urging citizens to
attend fundraising and political events and
donate money online. This strategy had its roots
in the practices of MoveOn, which created the
“industry standard” format of short text blocks
with embedded links to donation or action
pages (Biddle, 2007, p. 172). Indeed, Teachout
(2007, p. 64) describes how the visit of Zack
Exley and Eli Pariser of MoveOn to Dean
headquarters in April 2003 revolutionized the
work of the Internet Division: “That visit,
more than any other single day, transformed
the way we thought about much of the Internet
campaign. In that day we moved from chaotic
creativity to creativity driven by the need for
e-mail list growth.” Coupled with the gathering of addresses and use of e-mail was the
development of analytics that tracked not only
the most successful appeals (so that messages
could be tailored) but also supporter information across the range of Dean social networking applications. As Larry Biddle (personal
communication, October 20, 2008), the Director for Direct Mail, Telemarketing in the
Finance Division, described it, he worked to
make sure that the campaign digitally captured
what individuals were doing for Dean, including hosting parties and attending events, so
the campaign could “get the most active people and have them telemarketed” to make a
As is clear, how these artifacts were
deployed was a social decision and not a
technical necessity. The tactics to “crowd- or
open-source organizational processes” (Zack
Rosen, personal communication, April 7, 2008)
at the backend of operations came in lieu of
more substantive involvement in the campaign,
for example at the level of policy, strategy, or
the allocation of resources. The policy platform
of the candidate was the purview of the campaign’s formal advisors. Outside of an online
vote that the campaign hosted about whether to
participate in the public financing system, there
are no other examples of the candidate reconsidering or taking a new public position on a
matter of policy or strategy as a result of citizen
input. In a largely complementary article in
Wired, Gary Wolf (2004) noted this explicitly:
“But since none of the grassroots groups are
officially tied to the campaign, there is no guarantee of influence over policy. Dean is free to
ignore the political wishes of any of these
groups, and he often does.” Even the candidate’s Internet policy was closed to public
debate, crafted in part by the campaign’s “Net
Advisory Net,” a group of leading technologists
and scholars that included Joichi Ito, David
Weinberger, Howard Rheingold, and Lawrence
Lessig. The limited nature of networked participation is also clear in the public criticism, aired
after Dean’s losses in the early primaries, of the
campaign’s decision to spend the bulk of its
resources on television advertisements.4
In sum, networked artifacts were productive
of certain types of citizenship practices, as
they convened and leveraged networked sociality towards the strategic ends of the campaign. These organizational and technological
innovations centered on the creation of a geographically dispersed and stable pool of supporters who could consistently be called upon
to perform the fundraising and organizing
needed by the campaign. As the social affordances of these artifacts implies, this stability
was furthered by the range of emotional
attachments and relationships that individuals
developed through their engagement with each
other and the campaign, not unlike Web 2.0
business models that commodify social labor
(Boltanski & Chiapello, 2005; Terranova,
2004), although with the shared political end
of getting Dean elected. In this sense, while
these supporters were outside of the formal
organization’s boundaries, their work was
structured through artifactual practices. At the
same time, these artifacts extended the reach
of citizens, offering them powerful new tools
to organize their peers and support the candidate. While this addresses the relationship
between the formal organization and peer
networks, the next section details how these
new media practices were shaped by internal
organizational processes.
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Given that the focus of attention among the
press and scholars was on the Dean campaign’s
online effort, many accounts have overlooked
the ways in which the Internet Division of the
campaign was embedded within a formal organization. This in turn has led to characterizations of the campaign that elide its formal
structure, decision-making hierarchy, specialized divisions, and defined staff positions. In
sum, in many respects it had an institutionalized
organizational form that was broadly recognizable to professionals in the field. A detailed
look at the structure of the campaign organization and its internal dynamics suggests that
flexibility, a sensitivity to the external environment, and the decline of formal staff roles—
typical postbureaucratic practices—were not
uniformly the features of the Dean campaign
organization, nor was it a radically decentralized and leveled form of political organization.
Open-ended interviews with key staffers provide a richly detailed look at the Dean campaign organization and suggest how strategy
and resource conflicts within its boundaries
helped shape what peer networks were called
upon to do, as much as the demands of a competitive electoral environment and the institutionalized practices of the political field.
While it was less publicly visible than the
Internet Division (part of the campaign’s press
strategy detailed below), the Dean campaign
had a formal organizational structure that was
responsible for its strategic planning and policy
positions, as well as carrying out routine, dayto-day tasks, including coordinating field operations, managing communications, and performing the majority of its fundraising (see
Figure 1). The individuals in these positions in
turn generally had professional backgrounds
that differed from the staffers of the Internet
Division. Many of the Deputy Campaign Managers and Directors of the Field, Political,
Finance, and Communications divisions were
either long-time Dean aides or seasoned political staffers with extensive work experience in
other campaigns, the Clinton administration, or
party organizations. Meanwhile, the consulting
firms hired by the campaign were well established in the political field. For example, Paul
Maslin, Dean’s Pollster and Senior Advisor, is a
partner in Fairbank, Maslin, Maulin & Associates,
a highly regarded firm whose presidential clients included Gore, Dukakis, Hart, Mondale,
and Carter.
These campaign divisions and specialized
staff roles reflect the institutional context and
organizational environment in which the campaign was embedded. Thus, it is only in light of
an academic literature that emphasizes peerdriven political processes that scholars should
be surprised by the formal Dean campaign
organization. The Dean campaign had to
become credible to other actors in the field,
especially professional journalists and party
leaders, by adopting a legitimate organizational
form. At the same time the campaign needed to
develop structures to accomplish routine tasks,
including reporting to the Federal Election
Commission, dealing with journalists looking
for easily reachable and authoritative campaign
spokespersons, coordinating volunteers and
staffers in multiple states, meeting with influential citizen groups, and preparing the candidate’s schedule. In sum, while the formal
organization leveraged collaborative labor for
the backend tasks detailed above, there is little
evidence that these peer networks could have
commanded the resources necessary to deal
with what required routine coordination.
In turn, staffers outside the Internet Division
largely used new media in ways that “amplified” (Agre, 2002) the institutionalized
practices of their respective domains. This was
apparent in the Finance Division, which was the
first to be staffed on the campaign and which
grew to encompass over two dozen staffers
under the direction of National Finance Director Stephanie Schriock, a veteran who joined
Dean after a three-year stint at the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee. While it
functioned outside of the public eye, by all
accounts the fundraising efforts of the Finance
Division were highly successful, especially
given the underreported fact that offline surpassed online donations (Kelly Nuxoll, personal
FIGURE 1. Select snapshot of the Dean Campaign National Organization, December 2003.
Organizational chart based on Federal Election Commission filings and adapted from the George
Washington University campaign database, available online at:∼action/2004/
dean/deanorg.html. For space and clarity, this leaves out the advisors and consultants who did not
have defined roles in the campaign organization, in addition to many non-senior level positions (for
example, the Finance Division had over two dozen staffers). As detailed in this article, it also does
not reflect many of the actual working relationships of these staffers.
Mike Ford
Senior Advisor
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Andrea Pringle
Deputy Campaign Manager
Stephanie Schriock
National Finance Dir.
Linnea Dyer
Dep. National Finance Dir.
Joe Trippi
Campaign Manager
Kate O’Connor
Tom McMahon
Deputy Campaign Manager
Robert Rogan
Deputy Campaign Manager
Tamara Pogue
Field Dir.
Michael Silberman
Nat. Meetup Coord.
Larry Biddle
Dir. for Direct Mail, Telemarketing
Bobby Clark
Database Finance
Kelly Nuxoll
E-mail Dir.
David Salie
House Parties
Tricia Enright
Communications Dir.
Jeremy Ben-Ami
Policy Dir.
Courtney O’Donnell
Julie Norton
Dep. Communications Dir. Dep. Policy Dir.
Jay Carson
Nat. Spokesman
Brent Colburn
Research Dir.
Nicco Mele
Zephyr Teachout
Dir., Online Organizing
Matthew Gross
Dir. of Internet Comm.
Joe Rospars
Clay Johnson
Lead Programmer
Ken Herman
Jim Brayton
Jascha Franklin-Hodge
Nat. Systems Administrator
Joe Drymala
Zack Rosen
State and Local Tech. Coord.
Paul Blank
Political Dir.
Mark Michaud
Dir. of Operations
communication, November 19, 2008). And for
the professionals working in finance, the Internet was seen as a tool that could extend established fundraising practices. For example,
Biddle (personal communication, October 20,
2008) argues that he brought his experience as a
nonprofit and political fundraising professional
to bear on using the Internet to facilitate the
events, telemarketing, and direct mail efforts of
the campaign. Biddle urged potential donors to
sign up for events online so that the campaign
could better manage involvement. He incorporated proven text from solicitation letters into
online asks, and he developed the analytics that
enabled him to trace involvement and craft follow-up appeals.
The communications strategy of the campaign
relied on a very old tactic: finding an effective
news hook for journalists that would compel
them to write about Dean. The Internet proved
immensely useful in this regard, as Trippi, an
established political professional for whom communications was a primary concern, deliberately
staged high profile online fundraising actions to
garner media coverage (Armstrong, 2007, p. 50).
For example, in July 2003, the campaign posted
a picture of the candidate eating a turkey sandwich on the Dean For America Web site to coincide with a $2,000-a-plate fundraiser hosted by
Vice President Dick Cheney. Small donations
poured in, and Dean out-raised Cheney by nearly
$200,000. Meanwhile, this episode, and others
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that were similarly designed to simultaneously
raise money and receive press coverage,
grabbed headlines heralding Dean’s online success, as journalists construed it as evidence for
the radically innovative nature of the campaign
and, by extension, the candidate.
At the same time there were numerous sites
of internal conflict and organizational tension,
as staffers argued over strategy, resources, the
candidate’s ear, and Dean’s public image.
Given that Trippi only hints at these conflicts in
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, they
have received little attention in academic
accounts of the campaign. While Trippi was
Dean’s Campaign Manager, and was thus formally responsible for all of the campaign’s
operations, advisors who had long relationships
with the candidate from his time as governor
and who held his trust made competing claims
for organizational power. After the campaign’s
losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, the professional press reported on these conflicts within
the formal organization as keys to the spectacular collapse of a frontrunner. For example, writing in Salon, Benson (2004) echoes many
participants in describing a campaign that was
. . . roughly divided into three groups of the
governor’s top advisors from Vermont—
Kate O’Connor and Bob Rogan in one
camp, Trippi in another, and everyone
else in a third. The result was that internal
decision-making processes tended to be
chaotic, with top supporters getting contradictory marching orders from Trippi
and the Burlington staff in the same day.
However, the specific history of these conflicts
is less important for the purposes of this article
than how they were shaped by and consequential for the campaign’s internal organizational
dynamics and what peer networks were called
upon to do.
At the center of many of the dynamics of the
campaign was the unique organizational position that the Internet Division occupied. As a
number of staffers described, the Internet Division assumed tasks that spanned the domains of
finance, communications, and field given that
it was organized around a communications
platform—one that was put to a wide range of
organizational uses. This in essence created a
series of shadow divisions that were housed
under the rubric of the “Internet.” The roles of
some staffers make this evident. For example,
Zephyr Teachout served as the Director of
Online Organizing and Matthew Gross was the
Director of Internet Communications, while the
Division as a whole was constantly involved in
fundraising efforts. Outside of the Internet
Division, the campaign’s deployment of
networked technologies reconfigured job processes and division boundaries. As Nuxoll,
the E-mail Director for the campaign, (2007,
p. 197–198) describes:
It was beginning to be unclear that departments were separate entities at all, since
field and communications were running
together thanks to Meetup; finance was
increasingly part of field, courtesy of
house parties; the policy people realized
they could get their message out with the
Web pages, blog, e-mail, and forms; and
scheduling knew a few things that impacted
the grassroots, reached partly through
Meetup and the blog.
This was not, however, a frictionless process, as staffers were at times unclear who they
were supposed to be reporting to and, as
suggested above, there were at times radically
different approaches to using these networked
tools. Dean’s National Meetup Coordinator
Michael Silberman cites how he straddled both
the field operations and Internet Division, so
much so that it was not always clear who his
supervisor was. At the same time, he describes
how he saw his work more in terms of field,
given that “the ethos was more in line with
what I was doing. While the Internet team was
more of the hot ticket, being more reactive,
what we were doing was more about building
capacity and infrastructure” (Michael Silberman,
personal communication, July 28, 2008).
Silberman’s comments reveal how different
divisions, with divergent goals and with staffers
with varying professional backgrounds, had
contrasting approaches to similar or the same
tools. Nuxoll was hired as a member of the
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Internet Division but subsequently moved to
Finance. From this vantage point she describes
how she navigated divergent genres of e-mail
across divisions that were derived from different institutional models, namely organizing for
the field staffers, nonprofit direct mail fundraising for the Finance Division, and the MoveOn
model for the Internet Division (Kelly Nuxoll,
personal communication, November 19, 2008).
This spanned the range of the event mobilization pitches of the Field staffers and lengthy,
formal direct mail letters of Finance to the short
paragraphs and action items that the Internet
team used.
These divisional boundary-spanning activities of the Internet staffers, and the lack of clarity about reporting among individuals using
the Internet in other divisions, provided Trippi
with the opportunity to implement strategy
without coordinating with other senior aides or
consulting division heads. As Teachout (personal communication, July 10, 2008) recounts,
the Internet Division was a “fifth head,” or
organizational division, that was “at the bleeding edge of all kinds of things”; for example,
Trippi could make “communication decisions
through his very willing foot soldiers on the
Internet team, as opposed to through a communications person who is expressing any kind of
judgment about the nature of messaging.” One
oft-remarked upon detail is that the Internet
staffers all sat outside of Trippi’s door where
he had easy access to them when he wanted
something done. This also helped to ensure
that while their tactics were flexible at times,
goals were not, and routines did develop. For
example, fundraising was clearly Trippi’s priority, and the Internet Division was both disciplined about its pursuit and had a reasonable
understanding by the late fall of how much it
could garner through each clockwork pitch.
The success of this online fundraising in turn
offered a clear set of metrics, in many respects
the most important, through which to ground
claims for organizational autonomy and help
ensure influence in the strategy and allocative
decisions of the campaign. In this sense, the
campaign’s use of peer networks for backend
operations was also conditioned by organizational dynamics.
While many scholars see the Dean campaign
as the prototypical example of a new, radically
participatory democratic politics, other accounts
point to the campaign’s complex hybridity
(Chadwick, 2007). This article demonstrates
that it was a complicated and often contradictory phenomenon. It was clearly not the purely
decentralized, emergent, and self-organized
effort that some have celebrated. At the same
time, Jett and Välikangas’s (2004, p. 6) argument that “the Dean for America campaign is
like an island of formal organization in a sea of
autonomous volunteers” does not capture the
complex interactions between the campaign’s
formal structures and peer networks. The campaign’s Internet Division rather successfully
deployed a series of innovative organizational
practices and networked artifacts that structured
the networked sociality of these volunteers. This
work in turn was shaped in accordance with the
perceived demands of an inter-organizational
environment, political institutions, and internal
conflicts over resources. These peer networks
were not wholly autonomous. While volunteers
did take the reins of all sorts of projects, they
were in domains far from the substantive policy, strategy, or allocative decisions of the campaign. The formal organization was shaped by
efforts to guide the work of these networks,
which often required postbureaucratic work
processes that in turn were embedded in more
stable organizational routines. As noted above,
the production of these networks also served as
a resource in intra-organizational conflicts.
While the Dean campaign is only one case,
this study suggests that a more nuanced discussion of the relationship between peer networks
and formal organizations is necessary for our
understanding of online forms of democratic
practice. Scholarship that celebrates peer-to-peer
political collaboration often overlooks the fact
that online practices of citizenship are still primarily realized through formal political organizations. Citizenship not only continues to be
mediated by formal organizational structures,
but also the artifacts they deploy to connect
individuals to institutions. As the Dean campaign’s interaction with peer networks makes
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clear, even “emergent” forms of collective
action can over time become formalized, given
the work of stable organizational forms that
concentrate resources, make strategic decisions,
mobilize activists, and signal to other actors,
especially journalists and elected officials, their
legitimacy in order to accomplish their goals.
As this article has argued, formal organizational
resources still matter a great deal and convene
and harness peer networks towards ends that
are very familiar: fundraising, recruitment, and
mobilization. Indeed, new media political consulting companies including Blue State Digital
and EchoDitto, both of which were founded by
alumni of the Dean campaign, help their organizational clients do precisely this.
Scholarly discussion of these processes is all
the more necessary given the implications for
democratic theory. To date, the types of networked participation available to citizens through
the formal organizations that mobilize them have
received too little attention amid the embrace of
what appears to be new forms of politics online.
It is more complicated, and subsequent campaigns have extended many practices pioneered
by Dean staffers. As the preceding demonstrates,
the Dean campaign was open to participation in
some instrumental realms but had no channels for
convening a public debate or incorporating suggestions with regard to the candidate’s policy
platform. As such, the campaign was not deliberative nor especially participatory in many contexts; rather it largely reflected an extension of
elite-guided, mediated electoral practices that
were institutionalized in the field during the
1990s, or by some accounts even much earlier
(Howard, 2006). That said, the opportunity to
partake in the backend of campaign operations to
help Dean get elected in a competitive electoral
context still inspired thousands of volunteers and
Dean staffers who may not otherwise have participated in the political process.
1. For the data presented here that is drawn from
publicly available sources, full citations and URLs, where
appropriate, are provided for all material quoted and referenced in text. As this article is a piece of a larger research
project, materials that bear directly on this study and do
not violate the privacy of or disclosure agreements with
subjects will be made publicly available for the purposes
of replication upon the completion and publication of this
work. In the meantime, the author welcomes all inquiries
as to the data presented here.
2. Dean’s presidential Web site, Dean for America,
went online in September of 2002. It had limited functionality, providing a way to sign-up for e-mails, contact the
governor, read about the candidate in the press, and learn
about the issues. The contribute link was only added in
December. Other primary campaigns, including those of
Kerry and Edwards, were at a similar stage in the waning
months of 2002.
3. Kerry and Edwards’s Internet staffers had similar
professional backgrounds. This suggests that while there
were a range of established firms that provided Internet
political consulting services during this time period
(Howard, 2006), new media campaign staffers were not
yet professionalized and were drawn from the commercial, nonprofit, and political sectors. A survey of presidential primary campaigns during the 2007–2008 cycle
suggests that this changed somewhat, as a number of
campaigns hired prominent figures from the 2004 cycle,
especially former Dean staffers, many of whom had
launched their own consulting companies.
4. Trippi’s firm Trippi, McMahon & Squier, handled
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Sample Meetup Agenda (Dean for America, 2003)
June Meetup Goals
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Excite people to do the following . . .
1. Help Dean reach 100,000 members in the 5 days after the Meetup by taking home sign-up
sheets and asking others to join the Dean’s List.
2. Schedule local events for Dean supporters with the new features on
(available Monday, May 26).
3. Schedule fundraising house parties during June to strengthen our numbers before the June
30th FEC filing deadline.
Suggested Agenda
1. Hand a sign-in sheet to everyone who walks through the door—and recruit helpers! During
your remarks to the group, explain that Dean cannot contact his supporters or interested individuals without these names. Registering for Meetup does not automatically sign you up for
Dean emails.
2. Introductions
a. Introduce Yourself: Why are you working to elect Dean?
b. Explain how this campaign is different . . . Importance of grassroots activities such as the
Meetups. Remind the group that thousands of voters are attending hundreds of Meetups at
the same time across the country.
c. Briefly introduce above goals (1 minute or less)
d. If your Meetup is small enough, ask others why they support Dean (10-15 min.). If your
Meetup is large, you’ll probably want to skip this step.
3. Play a Howard Dean video if possible, or read the welcome message from Governor Dean,
which will be available at
4. Explain the three different actions that we’re asking everyone to take:
a. Take-home signup sheets: Distribute the take-home signup sheets (available as a download) to allow people to signup others who want to get involved. Meetup members can
help double Dean’s email list by sending the forms back to the campaign as soon as possible. Please be sure to ask people’s permission before you add them to the list.
b. Local Dean events: This week, we’re launching a web page that will allow individuals to
schedule local organizing events and sign-up directly on the DFA website. Anyone can
plan a Dean event and invite other to join. We can’t miss an opportunity to spread the
word and recruit new supporters at parades, fairs and other public events. Please encourage everyone to vsit [sic] and start using these new tools!
c. House party fundraisers: Join or schedule a house party fundraiser before the June 30
FEC filing deadline.
Chapter 30
Pierre Bourdieu
H I S E S S AY H A S B E E N chosen as much as an example of Pierre
Bourdieu’s thought and method as for its argument concerning sport. Indeed
the value of the latter is rather diminished because sport in France (Bourdieu, of
course, is a French theorist) has had a different social function from that in the US,
Britain or Australia. Also the essay’s historical claim that “sport” emerged as a
partially autonomous field when elites began to organize folk games is
problematic in the British context. It underestimates the pressures for
professionalization and organization from “below” – especially with football and
cricket during the nineteenth century.
Bourdieu’s is an analysis heavily dependent on notions of class and class
fractions, especially that between the dominant (economic and symbolic capitalrich) and dominated (cultural capital-rich) fractions of the middle class. He argues,
for instance, that workers engage in sports which depend upon, and place at risk,
sheer bodily strength whereas the middle classes value sports which develop the
body and skills as ends in themselves. He has made similar arguments about
class differentiations in aesthetic taste (Bourdieu 1986). Indeed such homologies
of dispositions and values constitute what he calls a “habitus.” For him, class
fractions differ by the amount of economic capital, symbolic capital (i.e., prestige)
and cultural capital (tastes) they inherit or are in a position to acquire. Through
strategies to gain advantage or to reconcile themselves to their conditions of life,
a particular lifestyle “grounded in the unity of dispositions” (i.e., habitus) emerges
for each group. These strategies involve “symbolic violence” – as in struggles
between fractions of the middle class over sport’s value.
Bourdieu’s work is having increasing influence in Anglophone cultural studies
and exchanges between this rather sociologically inclined research and
adherents of the “culture of difference” are of vital importance for the discipline in
the near future.
Further reading: Bourdieu 1990, 1993, 1996; H. Cunningham 1980; Frow 1995;
Garnham and Williams 1980; Guillory 1993; D. Robbins 1991; J. B. Thompson
I think that, without doing too much violence to reality, it is possible to consider the
whole range of sporting activities and entertainments offered to social agents –
rugby, football, swimming, athletics, tennis, golf etc. – as a supply intended to meet
a social demand. If such a model is adopted, two sets of questions arise. First, is
there an area of production, endowed with its own logic and its own history, in which
‘sports products’ are generated, i.e. the universe of the sporting activities and
entertainments socially realized and acceptable at a given moment in time? Second,
what are the social conditions of possibility of the appropriation of the various
‘sports products’ that are thus produced – playing golf or reading L’Équipe, crosscountry skiing or watching the World Cup on television? In other words, how is the
demand for ‘sports products’ produced, how do people acquire the ‘taste’ for sport,
and for one sport rather than another, whether as an activity or as a spectacle? The
question certainly has to be confronted, unless one chooses to suppose that there
exists a natural need, equally widespread at all times, in all places and in all social
milieux, not only for the expenditure of muscular energy but, more precisely, for
this or that form of exertion. (To take the example most favourable to the ‘natural
need’ thesis, we know that swimming, which most educators would probably point
to as the most necessary sporting activity, both on account of its ‘life-saving’
functions and its physical effects, has at times been ignored or refused – e.g. in
medieval Europe – and still has to be imposed by means of national ‘campaigns’.)
More precisely, according to what principles do agents choose between the different
sports activities or entertainments which, at a given moment in time, are offered to
them as being possible?
The production of supply
It seems to me that it is first necessary to consider the historical and social
conditions of possibility of a social phenomenon which we too easily take for
granted: ‘modern sport’. In other words, what social conditions made possible the
constitution of the system of institutions and agents directly or indirectly linked to
the existence of sporting activities and entertainments? The system includes public
or private ‘sports associations’, whose function is to represent and defend the
interests of the practitioners of a given sport and to draw up and impose the
standards governing that activity, the producers and vendors of goods (equipment,
instruments, special clothing etc.) and services required in order to pursue the sport
(teachers, instructors, trainers, sports doctors, sports journalists etc.) and the
producers and vendors of sporting entertainments and associated goods (T-shirts,
photos of stars etc.). How was this body of specialists, living directly or indirectly
off sport, progressively constituted (a body to which sports sociologists and
historians also belong – which probably does not help the question to emerge)? And,
more exactly, when did this system of agents and institutions begin to function as a
field of competition, the site of confrontations between agents with specific
interests linked to their positions within the field? If it is the case, as my questions
tend to suggest, that the system of the institutions and agents whose interests are
bound up with sport tends to function as a field, it follows that one cannot directly
understand what sporting phenomena are at a given moment in a given social
environment by relating them directly to the economic and social conditions of the
corresponding societies: the history of sport is a relatively autonomous history
which, even when marked by the major events of economic and social history, has
its own tempo, its own evolutionary laws, its own crises, in short, its specific
One of the tasks of the social history of sport might be to lay the real foundations
of the legitimacy of a social science of sport as a distinct scientific object (which is
not at all self-evident), by establishing from what moment, or rather, from what set
of social conditions, it is really possible to speak of sport (as opposed to the simple
playing of games – a meaning that is still present in the English word ‘sport’ but not
in the use made of the word in countries outside the Anglo-Saxon world where it was
introduced at the same time as the radically new social practices which it
designated). How was this terrain constituted, with its specific logic, as the site of
quite specific social practices, which have defined themselves in the course of a
specific history and can only be understood in terms of that history (e.g. the history
of sports laws or the history of records, an interesting word that recalls the
contribution which historians, with their task of recording and celebrating
noteworthy exploits, make to the constitution of a field and its esoteric culture)?
The genesis of a relatively autonomous field of production and
circulation of sports products
It seems to be indisputable that the shift from games to sports in the strict sense took
place in the educational establishments reserved for the ‘elites’ of bourgeois
society, the English public schools, where the sons of aristocratic or upperbourgeois families took over a number of popular – i.e. vulgar – games,
simultaneously changing their meaning and function in exactly the same way as the
field of learned music transformed the folk dances – bourrées, sarabands, gavottes
etc. – which it introduced into high-art forms such as the suite.
To characterize this transformation briefly, i.e., as regards its principle, we can
say that the bodily exercises of the ‘elite’ are disconnected from the ordinary social
occasions with which folk games remained associated (agrarian feasts, for
example) and divested of the social (and, a fortiori, religious) functions still
attached to a number of traditional games (such as the ritual games played in a
number of pre-capitalist societies at certain turning-points in the farming year). The
school, the site of skhole, leisure, is the place where practices endowed with social
functions and integrated into the collective calendar are converted into bodily
exercises, activities which are an end in themselves, a sort of physical art for art’s
sake, governed by specific rules, increasingly irreducible to any functional
necessity, and inserted into a specific calendar. The school is the site, par
excellence, of what are called gratuitous exercises, where one acquires a distant,
neutralizing disposition towards language and the social world, the very same one
which is implied in the bourgeois relation to art, language and the body: gymnastics
makes a use of the body which, like the scholastic use of language, is an end in itself.
(This no doubt explains why sporting activity, whose frequency rises very markedly
with educational level, declines more slowly with age, as do cultural practices,
when educational level is higher. It is known that among the working classes, the
abandonment of sport, an activity whose playlike character seems to make it
particularly appropriate to adolescence, often coincides with marriage and entry
into the serious responsibilities of adulthood.) What is acquired in and through
experience of school, a sort of retreat from the world and from real practice, of
which the great boarding schools of the ‘elite’ represent the fully developed form,
is the propensity towards activity for no purpose, a fundamental aspect of the ethos
of bourgeois ‘elites’, who always pride themselves on disinterestedness and define
themselves by an elective distance – manifested in art and sport – from material
interests. ‘Fair play’ is the way of playing the game characteristic of those who do
not get so carried away by the game as to forget that it is a game, those who maintain
the ‘rôle distance’, as Goffman puts it, that is implied in all the rôles designated for
the future leaders.
The autonomization of the field of sport is also accompanied by a process of
rationalization intended, as Weber expresses it, to ensure predictability and
calculability, beyond local differences and particularisms: the constitution of a
corpus of specific rules and of specialized governing bodies recruited, initially at
least, from the ‘old boys’ of the public schools, come hand in hand. The need for a
body of fixed, universally applicable rules makes itself felt as soon as sporting
‘exchanges’ are established between different educational institutions, then
between regions etc. The relative autonomy of the field of sport is most clearly
affirmed in the powers of self-administration and rule-making, based on a historical
tradition or guaranteed by the state, which sports associations are acknowledged to
exercise: these bodies are invested with the right to lay down the standards
governing participation in the events which they organize, and they are entitled to
exercise a disciplinary power (banning, fines etc.) in order to ensure observance of
the specific rules which they decree. In addition, they award specific titles, such as
championship titles and also, as in England, the status of trainer.
The constitution of a field of sports practices is linked to the development of a
philosophy of sport which is necessarily a political philosophy of sport. The theory
of amateurism is in fact one dimension of an aristocratic philosophy of sport as a
disinterested practice, a finality without an end, analogous to artistic practice, but
even more suitable than art (there is always something residually feminine about
art: consider the piano and watercolours of genteel young ladies in the same period)
for affirming the manly virtues of future leaders: sport is conceived as a training in
courage and manliness, ‘forming the character’ and inculcating the ‘will to win’
which is the mark of the true leader, but a will to win within the rules. This is ‘fair
play’, conceived as an aristocratic disposition utterly opposed to the plebeian
pursuit of victory at all costs. What is at stake, it seems to me, in this debate (which
goes far beyond sport), is a definition of bourgeois education which contrasts with
the petty-bourgeois and academic definition: it is ‘energy’, ‘courage’, ‘willpower’,
the virtues of leaders (military or industrial), and perhaps above all personal
initiative, (private) ‘enterprise’, as opposed to knowledge, erudition, ‘scholastic’
submissiveness, symbolized in the great lycée-barracks and its disciplines etc. In
short, it would be a mistake to forget that the modern definition of sport is an integral
part of a ‘moral ideal’, i.e. an ethos which is that of the dominant fractions of the
dominant class and is brought to fruition in the major private schools intended
primarily for the sons of the heads of private industry, such as the École des Roches,
the paradigmatic realization of this ideal. To value education over instruction,
character or willpower over intelligence, sport over culture, is to affirm, within the
educational universe itself, the existence of a hierarchy irreducible to the strictly
scholastic hierarchy which favours the second term in those oppositions. It means,
as it were, disqualifying or discrediting the values recognized by other fractions of
the dominant class or by other classes (especially the intellectual fractions of the
petty bourgeoisie and the ‘sons of schoolteachers’, who are serious challengers to
the sons of the bourgeoisie on the terrain of purely scholastic competence); it means
putting forward other criteria of ‘achievement’ and other principles for legitimating
achievement as alternatives to ‘academic achievement’. Glorification of sport as
the training-ground of character, etc., always implies a certain anti-intellectualism.
When one remembers that the dominant fractions of the dominant class always tend
to conceive their relation to the dominated fraction – ‘intellectuals’, ‘artists’,
‘professors’ – in terms of the opposition between the male and the female, the virile
and the effeminate, which is given different contents depending on the period (e.g.
nowadays short hair/long hair; ‘economico-political’ culture/‘artistico-literary’
culture etc.), one understands one of the most important implications of the
exaltation of sport and especially of ‘manly’ sports like rugby, and it can be seen that
sport, like any other practice, is an object of struggles between the fractions of the
dominant class and also between the social classes.
At this point I shall take the opportunity to emphasize, in passing, that the social
definition of sport is an object of struggles, that the field of sporting practices is the
site of struggles in which what is at stake, inter alia, is the monopolistic capacity to
impose the legitimate definition of sporting practice and of the legitimate function
of sporting activity – amateurism versus professionalism, participant sport versus
spectator sport, distinctive (elite) sport versus popular (mass) sport; that this field
is itself part of the larger field of struggles over the definition of the legitimate body
and the legitimate use of the body, struggles which, in addition to the agents engaged
in the struggle over the definition of sporting uses of the body, also involve moralists
and especially the clergy, doctors (especially health specialists), educators in the
broadest sense (marriage guidance counsellors etc.), pacemakers in matters of
fashion and taste (couturiers etc.). One would have to explore whether the struggles
for the monopolistic power to impose the legitimate definition of a particular class
of body uses, sporting uses, present any invariant features. I am thinking, for
example, of the opposition, from the point of view of the definition of legitimate
exercise, between the professionals in physical education (gymnasiarchs,
gymnastics teachers etc.) and doctors, i.e., between two forms of specific authority
(‘pedagogic’ versus ‘scientific’), linked to two sorts of specific capital; or the
recurrent opposition between two antagonistic philosophies of the use of the body,
a more ascetic one (askesis = training) which, in the paradoxical expression culture
physique (‘physical culture’) emphasizes culture, antiphysis, the counter-natural,
straightening, rectitude, effort, and another, more hedonistic one which privileges
nature, physis, reducing culture to the body, physical culture to a sort of ‘laisserfaire’, or return to ‘laisser-faire’ – as expression corporelle (‘physical expression’
– ‘anti-gymnastics’) does nowadays, teaching its devotees to unlearn the
superfluous disciplines and restraints imposed, among other things, by ordinary
Since the relative autonomy of the field of bodily practices entails, by
definition, a relative dependence, the development within the field of practices
oriented towards one or the other pole, asceticism or hedonism, depends to a large
extent on the state of the power relations within the field of struggles for
monopolistic definition of the legitimate body and, more broadly, in the field of
struggles between fractions of the dominant class and between the social classes
over morality. Thus the progress made by everything that is referred to as ‘physical
expression’ can only be understood in relation to the progress, seen for example in
parent–child relations and more generally in all that pertains to pedagogy, of a new
variant of bourgeois morality, preached by certain rising fractions of the
bourgeoisie (and petty bourgeoisie) and favouring liberalism in child-rearing and
also in hierarchical relations and sexuality, in place of ascetic severity (denounced
as ‘repressive’).
The popularization phase
It was necessary to sketch in this first phase, which seems to me a determinant one,
because, in states of the field that are none the less quite different, sport still bears
the marks of its origins. Not only does the aristocratic ideology of sport as
disinterested, gratuitous activity, which lives on in the ritual themes of celebratory
discourse, help to mask the true nature of an increasing proportion of sporting
practices, but the practice of sports such as tennis, riding, sailing or golf doubtless
owes part of its ‘interest’, just as much nowadays as at the beginning, to its
distinguishing function and, more precisely, to the gains in distinction which it
brings (it is no accident that the majority of the most select, i.e., selective, clubs are
organized around sporting activities which serve as a focus or pretext for elective
gatherings). We may even consider that the distinctive gains are increased when the
distinction between noble – distinguished and distinctive – practices, such as the
‘smart’ sports, and the ‘vulgar’ practices which popularization has made of a
number of sports originally reserved for the ‘elite’, such as football (and to a lesser
extent rugby, which will perhaps retain for some time to come a dual status and a
dual social recruitment), is combined with the yet sharper opposition between
participation in sport and the mere consumption of sporting entertainments. We
know that the probability of practising a sport beyond adolescence (and a fortiori
beyond early manhood or in old age) declines markedly as one moves down the
social hierarchy (as does the probability of belonging to a sports club), whereas the
probability of watching one of the reputedly most popular sporting spectacles, such
as football or rugby, on television (stadium attendance as a spectator obeys more
complex laws) declines markedly as one rises in the social hierarchy.
Thus, without forgetting the importance of taking part in sport – particularly
team sports like football – for working-class and lower middle-class adolescents, it
cannot be ignored that the so-called popular sports, cycling, football or rugby, also
function as spectacles (which may owe part of their interest to imaginary
participation based on past experience of real practice). They are ‘popular’ but in
the sense this adjective takes on whenever it is applied to the material or cultural
products of mass production, cars, furniture or songs. In brief, sport, born of truly
popular games, i.e., games produced by the people, returns to the people, like ‘folk
music’, in the form of spectacles produced for the people. We may consider that
sport as a spectacle would appear more clearly as a mass commodity, and the
organization of sporting entertainments as one branch among others of show
business (there is a difference of degree rather than kind between the spectacle of
professional boxing, or Holiday on Ice shows, and a number of sporting events that
are perceived as legitimate, such as the various European football championships
or ski competitions), if the value collectively bestowed on practising sports
(especially now that sports contests have become a measure of relative national
strength and hence a political objective) did not help to mask the divorce between
practice and consumption and consequently the functions of simple passive
It might be wondered, in passing, whether some recent developments in
sporting practices are not in part an effect of the evolution which I have too rapidly
sketched. One only has to think, for example, of all that is implied in the fact that a
sport like rugby (in France – but the same is true of American football in the US) has
become, through television, a mass spectacle, transmitted far beyond the circle of
present or past ‘practitioners’, i.e., to a public very imperfectly equipped with the
specific competence needed to decipher it adequately. The ‘connoisseur’ has
schemes of perception and appreciation which enable him to see what the layman
cannot see, to perceive a necessity where the outsider sees only violence and
confusion, and so to find in the promptness of a movement, in the unforeseeable
inevitability of a successful combination or the near-miraculous orchestration of a
team strategy, a pleasure no less intense and learned than the pleasure a music-lover
derives from a particularly successful rendering of a favourite work. The more
superficial the perception, the less it finds its pleasure in the spectacle contemplated
in itself and for itself, and the more it is drawn to the search for the ‘sensational’, the
cult of obvious feats and visible virtuosity and, above all, the more exclusively it is
concerned with that other dimension of the sporting spectacle, suspense and anxiety
as to the result, thereby encouraging players and especially organizers to aim for
victory at all costs. In other words, everything seems to suggest that, in sport as in
music, extension of the public beyond the circle of amateurs helps to reinforce the
reign of the pure professionals.
In fact, before taking further the analysis of the effects, we must try to analyse
more closely the determinants of the shift whereby sport as an elite practice reserved
for amateurs became sport as a spectacle produced by professionals for
consumption by the masses. It is not sufficient to invoke the relatively autonomous
logic of the field of production of sporting goods and services or, more precisely,
the development, within this field, of a sporting entertainments industry which,
subject to the laws of profitability, aims to maximize its efficiency while
minimizing its risks. (This leads, in particular, to the need for specialized executive
personnel and scientific management techniques that can rationally organize the
training and upkeep of the physical capital of the professional players: one thinks,
for example, of American football, in which the squad of trainers, doctors and
public-relations staff is more numerous than the team of players, and which almost
always serves as a publicity medium for the sports equipment and accessories
In reality, the development of sporting activity itself, even among workingclass youngsters, doubtless results partly from the fact that sport was predisposed
to fulfil, on a much larger scale, the very same functions which underlay its
invention in the late nineteenth-century English public …
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