What kind of activist are you?Positioning, power and identity in political online activism in EuropeJakob Svensson, Karlstad University (Sweden)Christina Neumayer, IT University Kopenhagen (Denmark)Alexander Banfield-Mumb, UTI Research Group (Austria)Judith Schoßböck, Danube University, AustriaCEDEM 12, Danube University, Austria
Background Internet and activism – not only coordination and mobilization – but also identification Online negotiation of identity in three cases – Sweden, Austria and Germany Computers underline identity negotiation and community building Social media – self representation – mundane citizenship (Bakardjieva) Exploring identities – exploring common goals
Background Power – in the form of we-them delineations Friend-enemy constellations Depart from a radical democratic perspective (Mouffe) Which types of activism are represented in these representations?
Cases middle-class activists in Sweden fighting to save their bathhouse student protests in Austria anti-fascist protests in East Germany
Cases - criteria• Counter-discourses outside established power centres• Identity performances• Strategies to challenge power• Sharing political positions through digital communication platforms (cooperation, community identification, mobilization, coordination of collective action)
Findings Activism as renewing/developing citizenship participation – a coalition of excluded opinions The Other could be another activist community/ politicians/entity We witnessed temporary coalitions of US – different political positions Floating definitions of adversaries and enemies Difference between those ready to act in civil dissobedience or not
Outlook Political action in contemporary democracies – a multiplicity of voices Activism awareness – What type of activist am I in which context/cause? Activism vs. identification with political causes online Other dimensions (e.g. physical presence, anonymity...)
Contact Jakob Svensson email@example.com Christina Neumayer firstname.lastname@example.org Alexander Banfield-Mumb email@example.com Judith Schoßböckjudith.firstname.lastname@example.org