Digital vs. Material: The Everyday Construction of Mediated Political Action

Barassi, Veronica. 2009. Digital vs. Material: The Everyday Construction of Mediated Political Action. Networking Knowledge, 2(1), ISSN 1755-9944 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The relationship between internet technologies and political action has often been analysed with an emphasis on the empowering qualities brought about by the digital age. Frequently, this is to the detriment of further consideration of the continuing role of ‘old’/traditional media, yet, campaigning organisations and political groups in Britain are still investing their few economic resources in the production of printed activist magazines, as well as developing web-based platforms. Based on ethnographic research amongst solidarity campaign organisations and the Trade Union movement in Britain, this paper will show that the relationship between internet technologies and social movements is embedded in a double tension of empowerment and anxiety. It is by considering this ambivalent tension – the paper will argue – that we can shed some light on the continuing role of printed media in the everyday mediation of political action, and we can better appreciate how new media have not replaced old media but may have powerfully transformed their meaning.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



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Date Deposited:

06 Oct 2015 15:30

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 13:37

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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