Recent research on activism in the context of digital media has argued that organizing can happen outside of organizations and even without SMOs. This work has been focused primarily on the “supply side” of participation. In this article, we expand this line of work by focusing on the “demand side.” We examine the distinction between self-directed and organizationally directed activism from the perspective of the individual, finding that shifts toward movement societies, the rise of lifestyle politics, and, to a lesser extent, changing citizenship norms explain citizen preferences for self-directed versus organizationally directed political consumption. We also analyze the relationship between political interest, different kinds of digital media use, and preferences for self-directed activism. We use original data from a survey in the U.S. on political consumption.

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