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Strengths and blind spots of digital activism in Latin America

Treré, Emiliano ORCID: and Harlow, Summer 2023. Strengths and blind spots of digital activism in Latin America. Rossi, Frederico M., ed. The Oxford Handbook of Latin American Social Movements, Oxford University Press, pp. 696-712. (10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190870362.013.43)

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Through a critical meta-analysis of the literature, this chapter assesses the actors, tools, and theories that constitute digital activism research in Latin America. First, the chapter highlights the strengths of this research in the region, casting light on the diversity, nuance, and richness of case studies, technologies, and conceptual lenses that have been explored. Then, it points out its blind spots and challenges, including: the trend towards fragmentation; the propensity to adopt conceptual lenses from the Global North; the underdevelopment of South–North and North–South dialogue; the tendency to provide limited analyses focused on just one medium; the application of ahistorical approaches that disregard the legacy of previous protest events; the limitations of emerging computational methods; and the emergence of digital agnosticism and a general uncritical stance towards digital platforms. All these factors, it is argued, hinder a more unified, region-wide understanding of digital activism. Second, the chapter illustrates the complexities of digital activism using case studies of Guatemala and Mexico. The contribution concludes by providing future directions and areas of study in need of further scrutiny.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190870362
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2023 10:00

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