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    Social media, protest cultures and political subjectivities of the Arab spring

    Markham, Tim (2014) Social media, protest cultures and political subjectivities of the Arab spring. Media, Culture & Society 36 (1), pp. 89-104. ISSN 0163-4437.

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    This article draws on phenomenological perspectives to present a case against resisting the objectification of cultures of protest and dissent. The generative, self-organizing properties of protest cultures, especially as mobilized through social media, are frequently argued to elude both authoritarian political structures and academic discourse, leading to new political subjectivities or ‘imaginaries’. Stemming from a normative commitment not to over-determine such nascent subjectivities, this view has taken on a heightened resonance in relation to the recent popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. The article argues that this view is based on an invalid assumption that authentic political subjectivities and cultures naturally emerge from an absence of constraint, whether political, journalistic or academic. The valorisation of amorphousness in protest cultures and social media enables affective and political projection, but overlooks politics in its institutional, professional and procedural forms.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Social media, protest cultures, political subjectivity, Arab spring, phenomenology, objectification
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture (BIRMAC) (Closed)
    Depositing User: Tim Markham
    Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2014 10:10
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:34


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