Beyond the Protest Square: Digital Media and Augmented Dissent
Rowman & Littlefield, Mar 16, 2021 - 160 pages
This book examines how citizens use digital social media to engage in public discontent and offers a critical examination of the hybrid reality of protest where bodies, spaces and technologies resonate. It argues that the augmented reality of protest goes beyond the bodies, the tents, and the cobblestones in the protest square, incorporating live streams, different time zones, encrypted conversations, and simultaneous translation of protest updates into different languages. Based on more than 60 interviews with protest participants and ethnographic analysis of online content in Ukraine and Russia, it examines how citizens in countries with limited media freedom and corrupt authorities perceive the affordances of digital media for protest and how these enable or limit protest action.
The book provides a nuanced contribution to debates about the role of digital media in contentious politics and protest events, both in Eastern Europe and beyond.