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Alternative Media and Social Networking Sites: the Politics of Individuation and Political Participation

Barassi, Veronica and Fenton, Natalie. 2011. Alternative Media and Social Networking Sites: the Politics of Individuation and Political Participation. Communication Review, 14(3), pp. 179-196. ISSN 1071-4421 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The rapid growth in usage of social networking sites begs a reconsideration of the meaning of mediated political participation in society. Castells (2009) contended that social networking sites offer a form of mass communication of the self wherein individuals can acquire a new creative autonomy. Stiegler (2009) and the Ars Industrialis collective believe that the processes of individuation, and of speaking out, hold the key to empowerment, agency, and resistance. In this article the authors offer a critical reflection on the logic of mediated participation promoted by social media through a consideration of the differences between individual and collective forms of mediated political participation. Drawing on ethnographic research on alternative media within the Trade Union Movement in Britain and recent research on the political culture of social networking sites, the authors argue that far from being empowering, the logic of self-centered participation promoted by social media can represent a threat for political groups rather than an opportunity.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1080/10714421.2011.597245

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre

Dates:

DateEvent
2011Published

Item ID:

13956

Date Deposited:

06 Oct 2015 15:13

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2019 12:16

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/13956

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