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    The Web will kill them all: new media, digital utopia, and political struggle in the Italian 5-Star Movement

    Natale, S. and Ballatore, Andrea (2014) The Web will kill them all: new media, digital utopia, and political struggle in the Italian 5-Star Movement. Media, Culture & Society 36 (1), pp. 105-121. ISSN 0163-4437.

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    This article examines the role of discourses about new media technology and the Web in the rise of the 5-Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle, or M5S) in Italy. Founded by comedian and activist Beppe Grillo and Web entrepreneur Gianrobe rto Casaleggio in 2009, this movement succeeded in becoming the second largest party at t he 2013 national elections in Italy. This article aims to discuss how elements of digital uto pia and Web-centric discourses have been inserted into the movement’s political message, and how the construction of the Web as a myth has shaped the movement’s discourse and political p ractice. The 5-Star Movement is compared and contrasted with other social and political move ments in Western countries which have displayed a similar emphasis on new media, such as the Occupy movement, the Indignados movement, and the Pirate Parties in Sweden and Germ any. By adopting and mutating cyber- utopian discourses from the so-called Californian i deology, the movement symbolically identifies itself with the Web. The traditional political esta blishment is associated with “old” media (television, radio, and the printed press), and rep resented as a “walking dead,” doomed to be superseded and buried by a Web-based direct democra cy.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): New media, digital utopia, cyber-utopia, Web utopi a, digital sublime, Beppe Grillo, Gianroberto Casaleggio, Movimento 5 Stelle, 5-Star Movement, Californian ideology, Italian politics, Italy, old media, social movements
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Andrea Ballatore
    Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2016 11:12
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:23


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