The activist shown, as depicted by the graffiti artist Banksy , is throwing flowers instead of rocks.
What kind of activist are you?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Christina Neumayer email@example.com Alexander Banfield-Mumb firstname.lastname@example.org Judith Schoßböckjudith.email@example.com