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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Media ecologies and protest movements: main perspectives and key lessons

Emiliano Treré and Alice Mattoni

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2016

Studies adopting the media ecology metaphor to investigate social movements form a promising strand of literature that has emerged in the last years to overcome the communicative reductionism permeating the study of the relation between social movements and communication technologies. However, contributions that apply ecological visions to protest are scattered, and only seldom connect their analyses to more general media ecological frameworks. The article critically reviews and classifies the diverse strands of scholarship that adopt the ecological metaphor in their exploration of activism, and connects them with the more general literature on media and communication ecologies. Moreover, it extracts the constitutive elements of this literature that can help scholars to better address the complexity of communication within social movements, and it articulates four key lessons that a media ecology lens brings to the understanding of media and protest. Finally, the article further demonstrates the strengths of this approach through an illustration of the preliminary findings of an ongoing investigation on the 15M movement in Spain.

Treré, E. & Mattoni, A., 2016. Media ecologies and protest movements: main perspectives and key lessons. Information, Communication & Society, 19(3), pp.290–306.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2015.1109699?journalCode=rics20

News

19/12/2017

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

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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?”

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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

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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.