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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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A situated understanding of digital technologies in social movements: Media ecology and media practice approaches

Alice Mattoni

The chapter reflects on the need to include and combine different theoretical approaches in social movement studies so as to construct more meaningful understanding of how social movement actors deals with digital technologies and with what outcomes in societies

Type: Chapter in edited book
Year: 2018

The chapter tackles two main aspects related to the interaction between social movements and digital technologies. First, it reflects on the need to include and combine different theoretical approaches in social movement studies so as to construct more meaningful understanding of how social movement actors deals with digital technologies and with what outcomes in societies. In particular, the article argues that media ecology and media practice approaches serve well to reach this objective as: they recognize the complex multi-faceted array of media technologies, professions and contents with which social movement actors interact; they historicize the use of media technologies in social movements; and they highlight the agency of social movement actors in relation to media technologies while avoiding a media-centric approach to the subject matter. Second, this article employs a media practice perspective to explore two interrelated trends in contemporary societies that the articles in this special issue deal with: the personalization and individualization of politics, and the role of the grassroots in political mobilizations.

Mattoni, A. (2018). A situated understanding of digital technologies in social movements: Media ecology and media practice approaches. In C. F. Flesher Fominaya & K. Gillan (Eds.), Technology, Media and Social Movements. London: Routledge.

https://www.routledge.com/Technology-Media-and-Social-Movements/Fominaya-Gillan/p/book/9781138368965

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