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Cosmos

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 article explores the potential of media ecologies and media practices approaches to grasp the role of digital technologies in current social movements. Moreover, it adopts a media practice perspective to reflects on the relationship between the communicative dimension of social movements and the mundane individual use of digital technologies.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

The article 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, Alice. 2017. ‘A Situated Understanding of Digital Technologies in Social Movements. Media Ecology and Media Practice Approaches’. Social Movement Studies 0(0): 1–12.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14742837.2017.1311250

News

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

24/09/2017

New Publication Out - "Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis"

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A timely publication to shed light on the link between social movements that formed as a consequence of the 2008 financial crash and the referendums' dynamic and results.

25/08/2017

Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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Wednesday, August 30th (8pm-9.30pm) professor della Porta, who directs the Center on Social Movement Studies(Cosmos), will dialogue with Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Minister of Finance during the first Tsipras government, about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies

Publications

Monograph - 2018

Social Movements and Civil War : When Protests for Democratization Fail

Donatella della Porta, Teije Hidde Donker , Bogumila Hall , Emin Poljarevic
This book investigates the origins of civil wars which emerge from failed attempts at democratization. The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation of the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements' struggles for democracy ends up in civil war.

Monograph - 2017

Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis

Donatella Della Porta, Francis O'Connor, Martin Portos and Anna Subirats Ribas
Out now "Social movements and referendum from below", the first book that bridges the gap between social movement studies and research on direct democracy. It draws on social movement theory to understand the nature of popular mobilisation in referendums using unique case studies such as the referendum on independence in Scotland, the consultations on independence in Catalonia, the Italian referendum on water, the referendum on the Troika proposals in Greece and the referendum on the debt repayment in Iceland.