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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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The figure of social media in contemporary protest – Olu Jenzen, University of Brighton

A talk on the Gezi park protest of 2013 as a case study to elucidate how social media, and more specifically Twitter, has emerged as a signifier of contemporary protest.

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This talk uses the Gezi park protest of 2013 as a case study to elucidate how social media, and more specifically Twitter, has emerged as a signifier of contemporary protest. The importance of social media for contemporary protest movements is something that has by now been written about extensively. In previous research, the main emphasis has been given to the functionality of social media primarily as a means of information sharing and a tool for protest organisation. This paper seeks to redress this by directing our attention to the role of visual communication and how social media is symbolically implied in the protestors’ self image. Thus the paper focuses on how social media as a cultural signifier or symbol is employed both by protestors and the authorities seeking to rebuke the movement. The paper looks at how in the case of the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey, social media is rhetorically evoked by both protestors (as the platform for freedom of expression) and the government (as a menace to the state). It also explores how social media becomes a symbolic part of the protest movement by visualising the possibility of imagining the movement as a decentralized networked digital mass; and finally discusses how Gezi activists appropriated the Twitter logo bird in visual representations of the movement.

News

22/07/2019

Protest for a future: international report on #FridaysForFuture and the climate strike

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Composition, mobilization and motives of the participants in Fridays For Future climate protests on 15 March 2019, in 13 European cities. A multi-country collaboration report, with contributions from COSMOS researchers Lorenzo Zamponi, Donatella della Porta, Martín Portos, Niccolò Bertuzzi and Daniela Chironi.

21/06/2019

Call for papers: "The Nation and the Radical Left - Practices and Discourses of National Identity in Left-Wing Politics"

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The call for papers is now open for a conference on national identities and left-wing politics.

18/06/2019

Call for papers: “Class without consciousness” – The Politics of Fragmented Class Identities

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The call for papers is now open for a two-day conference on class and identities at the Scuola Normale Superiore on 14-15 November 2019

Publications

Journal Article - 2019

From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements Form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba

Leonidas Oikonomakis
Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: (a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, (b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and (c) the political formation of their grassroots.

Journal Article - 2019

The Modern Prince and the Sociological Imagination

Riccardo Emilio Chesta, Michael Burawoy
Michael Burawoy in Conversation with Riccardo Emilio Chesta