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Everyday Activism: Strategies and Practices in a Multi-Platform Media Landscape
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
Lunds universitet.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Ever-since its early introduction into Western societies, in mid 1990s, the Internet has spurred public as well as academic debate regarding its potential political implications. These debates have touched upon areas as wide as the Internet’s abilities to revitalize public spheres, its potential to stimulate civic participation among young people, and analysed ways in which it might help to reshape our sense of civic identity. With the advent of the so-called web 2.0, which also has been notoriously connected to the notion “social media”, specific interest has been brought to analyse how the new, even more interactive and user-friendly web has created opportunities for political (and cultural) participation. This latter phase of research includes various analyses of the political significance of social media applications, such as weblogs, Twitter and Facebook. One strand of research has looked into how established political actors make use of the web’s new, more participatory features (for instance on Facebook) as part of their political ambitions. Another thread has paid interest in political implications of online participatory activities on various web venues: How does Twitter impact political debate? Yet other projects have tried to shed light on how social media-applications are brought to use in times of social upheaval and within protest movements. This paper, however, approaches the political implications of web 2.0 and social media from a very different point of both empirical and analytical departure. It connects with a less salient, but important strand of research that looks into everyday life appropriations of the possibilities offered by web 2.0 among citizens. More specifically, it presents and analyses data from an interview study of some twenty Swedish everyday media activists in order to gain insights into how they make use of various digital media as part of their political activism. What communicative roles are various digital applications shaped to play for these activists? It pays specific attention to what strategic “activist value” they sense in the different digital applications they make use of in everyday-life: How do activists intermingle in-between them? Our data include interviews with two sets of activists, one set aged 28-79, an average of 50 and one aged 18-35. Hence, apart from offering insights into everyday life use of digital applications for activism, the paper also offers comparisons between two different generations of media activists.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject
Media and Communication Science.
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-34210Local ID: 8581cb76-d27e-44ed-ad5c-d407925b9d22OAI: diva2:1007460
European Communication Conference : Communication for Empowerment: Citizens, Markets, Innovations 12/11/2014 - 15/11/2014
Godkänd; 2014; 20141119 (larsof)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, Sofia
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Media, audio technology and experience production and theater

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