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The symbol of social media in contemporary protest: Twitter and the Gezi Park movement

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journal contribution
posted on 21.09.2020, 10:52 by Olu Jenzen, Itir Erhart, Hande Eslen-Ziya, Umut Korkut, Aidan McGarry
This article explores how Twitter has emerged as a signifier of contemporary protest. Using the concept of ‘social media imaginaries’, a derivative of the broader field of ‘media imaginaries’, our analysis seeks to offer new insights into activists’ relation to and conceptualisation of social media and how it shapes their digital media practices. Extending the concept of media imaginaries to include analysis of protestors’ use of aesthetics, it aims to unpick how a particular ‘social media imaginary’ is constructed and informs their collective identity. Using the Gezi Park protest of 2013 as a case study, it illustrates how social media became a symbolic part of the protest movement by providing the visualised possibility of imagining the movement. In previous research, the main emphasis has been given to the functionality of social media as a means of information sharing and a tool for protest organisation. This article seeks to redress this by directing our attention to the role of visual communication in online protest expressions and thus also illustrates the role of visual analysis in social movement studies.

Funding

The Aesthetics of Protest: Visual Culture and Communication in Turkey

Arts and Humanities Research Council

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History

School

  • Loughborough University London

Published in

Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies

Volume

27

Issue

2

Pages

414 - 437

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by SAGE under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Publication date

2020-07-06

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

1354-8565

eISSN

1748-7382

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Aidan McGarry. Deposit date: 18 September 2020

Licence

Exports