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Non-Participation in Digital Media: Toward a Framework of Mediated Political Action

Media, Culture & Society, 2015

19 Pages Posted: 18 May 2015  

Nathalie Casemajor Loustau

McGill University

Stephane Couture

ESR-INRA

Mauricio Delfin

McGill University

Matthew Goerzen

McGill University

Alessandro Delfanti

University of California, Davis

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

This article explores the notion of digital non-participation as a form of mediated political action rather than as mere passivity. We generally conceive of participation in a positive sense, as a means for empowerment and a condition for democracy. However, participation is not the only way to achieve political goals in the digital sphere and can be hampered by the ‘dark sides’ of participatory media, such as surveillance or disempowering forms of interaction. In fact, practices aimed at abandoning or blocking participatory platforms can be seen as politically significant and relevant. We propose here to conceptualize these activities by developing a framework that includes both participation and non-participation. Focusing on the political dimensions of digital practices, we draw four categories: active participation, passive participation, active non-participation, and passive non-participation. This is not intended as a conclusive classification, but rather as a conceptual tool to understand the relational nature of participation and non-participation through digital media. The evolution of the technologies and practices that compose the digital sphere forces us to reconsider the concept of political participation itself.

Keywords: digital media, digital culture, participation, new media

Suggested Citation

Casemajor Loustau, Nathalie and Couture, Stephane and Delfin, Mauricio and Goerzen, Matthew and Delfanti, Alessandro, Non-Participation in Digital Media: Toward a Framework of Mediated Political Action (2015). Media, Culture & Society, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2606841

Nathalie Casemajor Loustau

McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5
Canada

Stephane Couture

ESR-INRA

Chemin de Borde-Rouge
Auzeville B.P. 27
Castanet-Tolosan Cedex, 31326
France

Mauricio Delfin

McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5
Canada

Matthew Goerzen

McGill University

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5
Canada

Alessandro Delfanti (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

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