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The sublime of digital activism: hybrid media ecologies and the new grammar of protest

Trere, Emiliano ORCID: 2018. The sublime of digital activism: hybrid media ecologies and the new grammar of protest. Journalism & Communication Monographs 20 (2) , pp. 137-148. 10.1177/1522637918770435

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Research on the relationships between social movements and digital communication technologies has grown exponentially in the last few years, following episodes of increasingly intense contention around the globe. This inquiry has produced not only several valuable and illuminating insights but also many superficial and flawed accounts of the role of (digital) technology within contemporary protests. In this commentary, I will tackle some of the key points raised by Lim’s monograph. I start by addressing her claim that the Internet has become more “local” in contemporary movements. Then, I provide a socioeconomic excursus on the crisis of the middle class under financial capitalism that can integrate her reflections on the propelling role of middle classes in recent contentious episodes. To escape the enchantment of technological novelty, I also address the need to examine the historical communicative conditions of movements. I reflect on the radical media imagination, media imaginaries, and the sublime of digital activism. Next, I focus on multidimensionality of media hybridity within contemporary movements. I conclude by offering my perspective on the emergence of a new digital grammar of protest and on the enduring role of precarious bodies in the space of appearance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1522-6379
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 April 2018
Date of Acceptance: 4 February 2018
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 14:28

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