Book Chapter in The Participatory Cultures Handbook

Published a couple of months ago in The Participatory Cultures Handbook, a book chapter written by Donatella della Porta and myself. The chapter speaks about political participation, alternative media, and social movements. It is entitled “Cultures of Participation and Social Movements”. Here is the abstract:

“Social movements have historically promoted alternative visions of democracy. Cultures of participation in contemporary social movements stress the importance of deliberation, with a new emphasis on consensus building. The importance of dialogue for deliberation renders conceptions and practices of communication and mediation all the more important. In this chapter, we illustrate the plurality of cultures of participation in social movements, starting from alternative conceptions of democracy elaborated during protests in the 1960s. We then focuses on contemporary transnational social movements, in which different cultures of participation based on deliberation and consensus intertwine. Finally, we discuss how communication and mediation practices in social movements are embedded in and promote the development of different cultures of participation. First, we consider synchronous and asynchronous communication within the social movement milieu, during preparatory stages of mobilization. Second, we discuss three dimensions linked to the creation of alternative media able to sustain different cultures of participation: 1) the degree of collectiveness in the creation of alternative media content and infrastructures, 2) the degree of openness in the making of alternative media content, and 3) the degree of possession of the infrastructures on which the alternative media outlet or content is originally published.”