Mobilizing in Times of Social Media. From a Politics of Identity to a Politics of Visibility
Milan, Stefania (2015). Mobilizing in Times of Social Media. From a Politics of Identity to a Politics of Visibility. In Critical Perspectives on Social Media and Protest, edited by Dencik and Leistert, Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 53-71
14 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2016
Date Written: May 5, 2015
This paper focuses on the level of micro-interactions to explore different aspects of cloud protesting seen in relation to the technical properties of social media, paying attention to organizational patterns, the creation and reproduction of a collective identity and the consequences of social media use on protest and group dynamics. It combines critical technology studies and social movement research in view of offering a theoretical approach to understand protest in relation to its digital support. It explores the idea that social media identify a discursive space where identities are incrementally built through the engagement of multiple individuals acting on their own accord, and to a degree superseding organizations. Any given collective identity, thus, results from the complex interplay between a ‘politics of identity’, typical of the so-called new social movements, and the ‘politics of visibility’ fostered by social media. Moreover, the notion of visibility of people, their doings and whereabouts, translates in surveillance and self-surveillance. These are so entrenched in social media use to have become integral to contemporary protests.
Keywords: social media, activism, cloud protesting, collective identity, surveillance, self-surveillance
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation