Hybrid Media Activism: Ecologies, Imaginaries, Algorithms

Hybrid Media Activism: Ecologies, Imaginaries, Algorithms

by Emiliano Treré

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This book is an extensive investigation of the complexities, ambiguities and shortcomings of contemporary digital activism. The author deconstructs the reductionism of the literature on social movements and communication, proposing a new conceptual vocabulary based on practices, ecologies, imaginaries and algorithms to account for the communicative complexity of protest movements. Drawing on extensive fieldwork on social movements, collectives and political parties in Spain, Italy and Mexico, this book disentangles the hybrid nature of contemporary activism. It shows how activists operate merging the physical and the digital, the human and the non-human, the old and the new, the internal and the external, the corporate and the alternative.

The author illustrates the ambivalent character of contemporary digital activism, demonstrating that media imaginaries can be either used to conceal authoritarianism, or to reimagine democracy. The book looks at both side of algorithmic power, shedding light on strategies of repression and propaganda, and scrutinizing manifestations of algorithms as appropriation and resistance.

The author analyses the way in which digital activism is not an immediate solution to intricate political problems, and argues that it can only be effective when a set of favourable social, political, and cultural conditions align.

Assessing whether digital activism can generate and sustain long-term processes of social and political change, this book will be of interest to students and scholars researching radical politics, social movements, digital activism, political participation and current affairs more generally.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781315438153
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 12/07/2018
Series: Routledge Studies in Radical History and Politics
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 222
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Emiliano Treré is Lecturer in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University, UK.

Table of Contents

Introduction: the quest for communicative complexity within social movements

PART I. Ecologies

Chapter 1. Media ecologies and the media/movement dynamic 

Chapter 2. An ecological exploration of the ‘Anomalous Wave’ movement

Chapter 3. An ecological exploration of the #YoSoy132 movement

PART II. Imaginaries 

Chapter 4. Media imaginaries and the media/movement dynamic

Chapter 5. The authoritarian sublime of the Five Star Movement

Chapter 6. The technopolitical sublime of the Spanish Indignados

PART III. Algorithms

Chapter 7. The mutual shaping of algorithms and social movements 

Chapter 8. Algorithm as propaganda, repression, and paranoia

Chapter 9. Algorithm as knowledge, appropriation, and resistance

Conclusions: hybrid media activism

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