logo

Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

logo

Comparing Digital Protest Media Imaginaries: Anti-Austerity Movements in Greece, Italy & Spain

Emiliano Treré, Sandra Jeppensen and Alice Mattoni

Drawing on 60 semi­-structured interviews with activists involved in anti-austerity protests, the article brings together social movement studies and communications theories to compare digital protest media imaginaries in Greece, Spain and Italy

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

This article presents findings from an empirical study of repertoires of contention and communication engaged during anti-austerity protests by the Indignados in Spain, the precarious generation in Italy, and the Aganaktismenoi in Greece. Drawing on 60 semi­structured interviews with activists and independent media producers involved in the 2011 wave of contention, we bring together social movement and communications theoretical frameworks to present a comparative critical analysis of digital protest media imaginaries. After examining the different socio-political and protest media contexts of the three countries translocally, our critical analysis emphasizes the emergence of three different imaginaries: in Spain the digital protest media imaginary was technopolitical, grounded in the politics and political economies of communication technologies emerging from the free culture movement; in Italy this imaginary was techno-fragmented, lacking cohesion, and failed to bring together old and new protest media logics; and finally in Greece it was techno-pragmatic, envisioned according to practical objectives that reflected the diverse politics and desires of media makers rather than the strictly technological or political affordances of the digital media forms and platforms. This research reveals how pivotal the temporal and geographical dimensions are when analyzed using theoretical perspectives from both communications and social movement research; moreover it emphasizes the importance of studying translocal digital protest media imaginaries as they shape movement repertoires of contention and communication; both elements are crucial to better understanding the challenges, limitations, successes and opportunities for digital protest media.

Treré, E., Jeppesen, S. and Mattoni, A. (2017) ‘Comparing Digital Protest Media Imaginaries: Anti-Austerity Movements in Greece, Italy & Spain’, tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique 15(2):406-424

http://triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/772

News

19/12/2017

10 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology, for the AA. 2018/2019, Scuola Normale Superiore

alt
The grant is for 4 years. it is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided.

13/12/2017

Call for Paper: Conference “1968-2018, fifty years after: Where is the social movements field going?”

alt
Taking the 1968 anniversary as a stimulating moment for reflection, this conference seeks to provide space for looking at the implications of that period on social movement research as well as addressing a number of key questions in current social movement research.

04/12/2017

Martin Portos Garcia wins the ISA's Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists

alt
The International Sociological Association has just announced the list of the winners of the Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists engaged in social research, amongst which Martin Portos Garcia - post-doc fellow at COSMOS

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

Repertoires of knowledge practices: Social movements in times of crisis

Donatella della Porta and Elena Pavan
Starting from the assumption that knowledge becomes all the more important for movements in times of crisis, as old structures are challenged and new ones envisaged and proved feasible, the purpose of this paper is to suggest ways to expand the toolkit of social movement studies in order to empirically address knowledge practices as a meaningful part of contemporary progressive activism.

Journal Article - 2017

Keeping dissent alive under the Great Recession: no-radicalisation and protest in Spain after the eventful 15M/indignados campaign

Martín Portos
Traditional theories of collective action would predict that, after a triggering event, the trajectory of a wave of protest is determined by the institutionalisation–radicalisation tandem. Based on the Spanish cycle of anti-austerity and against the political status quo protest in the shadow of the Great Recession, this article contends with this approach, as a clear trend towards radicalisation is never observed as the cycle unfolds. An alternative interpretative framework is developed to understand protest trajectories when collaborative inter-organisational strategies prevail.