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Mainstreaming the Alternative: the Changing Media Practices of Protest Movements

Askanius, Tina LU and Gustafsson, Nils LU (2010) In Interface: a journal for and about social movements 2(2). p.23-41
Abstract
The article argues that contemporary protest movements are facing a convergence of what has traditionally been coined as mainstream and alternative media. Traditionally, the broad term ‘alternative media’ has been employed to embrace a wide range of oppositional media channels that can be considered to carry on the tradition of the early radical and party press: micro-media operating at the grassroots level, discontinuous, non-professional, persecuted or illegal. Today, heavily commercialised media and online communities such as Facebook, YouTube and MySpace constitute a common part of the repertoire of communication channels for activists engaged in alterative politics and protest movements. Are these new media channels a necessary means... (More)
The article argues that contemporary protest movements are facing a convergence of what has traditionally been coined as mainstream and alternative media. Traditionally, the broad term ‘alternative media’ has been employed to embrace a wide range of oppositional media channels that can be considered to carry on the tradition of the early radical and party press: micro-media operating at the grassroots level, discontinuous, non-professional, persecuted or illegal. Today, heavily commercialised media and online communities such as Facebook, YouTube and MySpace constitute a common part of the repertoire of communication channels for activists engaged in alterative politics and protest movements. Are these new media channels a necessary means in order to reach beyond the circles of

the likeminded? Or, do the use of these media point towards a mainstreaming

process of political cultures of resistance to the establishment, eroding their very raison d’être? Combining a theoretical discussion of the inherent paradoxes in the celebration of new media technology as a source of democratisation and empowerment of civic cultures with an empirical focus aimed at exploring the changing repertoire of communicative tools used by social movement actors, this paper analyses two cases of online media practices in contemporary Scandinavian protest movements: 1) A series of civil disobedience actions and mobilisations of mass demonstrations before and after the eviction and destruction of the Youth House (Ungdomshuset) in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2007-2008; 2) The popular

demonstrations in connection with the European Social Forum in Malmö, Sweden

in September 2008. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
social network sites, political communication, protest movements, social media, protest culture, social movements, viral politics
in
Interface: a journal for and about social movements
volume
2
issue
2
pages
23 - 41
ISSN
2009-2431
project
Viral politik. Politisk mobilisering i sociala medier
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
78aa65e4-b82c-45cb-86d9-ca37f0b16148 (old id 1734544)
alternative location
http://interfacejournal.nuim.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Interface-2-2-pp.23-41-Askanius-and-Gustafsson1.pdf
date added to LUP
2010-12-02 12:30:02
date last changed
2016-04-16 06:14:47
@misc{78aa65e4-b82c-45cb-86d9-ca37f0b16148,
  abstract     = {The article argues that contemporary protest movements are facing a convergence of what has traditionally been coined as mainstream and alternative media. Traditionally, the broad term ‘alternative media’ has been employed to embrace a wide range of oppositional media channels that can be considered to carry on the tradition of the early radical and party press: micro-media operating at the grassroots level, discontinuous, non-professional, persecuted or illegal. Today, heavily commercialised media and online communities such as Facebook, YouTube and MySpace constitute a common part of the repertoire of communication channels for activists engaged in alterative politics and protest movements. Are these new media channels a necessary means in order to reach beyond the circles of<br/><br>
the likeminded? Or, do the use of these media point towards a mainstreaming<br/><br>
process of political cultures of resistance to the establishment, eroding their very raison d’être? Combining a theoretical discussion of the inherent paradoxes in the celebration of new media technology as a source of democratisation and empowerment of civic cultures with an empirical focus aimed at exploring the changing repertoire of communicative tools used by social movement actors, this paper analyses two cases of online media practices in contemporary Scandinavian protest movements: 1) A series of civil disobedience actions and mobilisations of mass demonstrations before and after the eviction and destruction of the Youth House (Ungdomshuset) in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2007-2008; 2) The popular<br/><br>
demonstrations in connection with the European Social Forum in Malmö, Sweden<br/><br>
in September 2008.},
  author       = {Askanius, Tina and Gustafsson, Nils},
  issn         = {2009-2431},
  keyword      = {social network sites,political communication,protest movements,social media,protest culture,social movements,viral politics},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {23--41},
  series       = {Interface: a journal for and about social movements},
  title        = {Mainstreaming the Alternative: the Changing Media Practices of Protest Movements},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2010},
}