© 2016

Feminist Activism and Digital Networks

Between Empowerment and Vulnerability


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change book series (PSCSC)

About this book


This book sheds new light on the way that, in the last decade, digital technologies have become inextricably linked to culture, economy and politics and how they have transformed feminist and queer activism. This exciting text critically analyses the contradictions, tensions and often-paradoxical aspects that characterize such politics, both in relation to identity and to activist practice. Aristea Fotopoulou examines how activists make claims about rights online, and how they negotiate access, connectivity, openness and visibility in digital networks. Through a triple focus on embodied media practices, labour and imaginaries, and across the themes of bodily autonomy, pornography, reproduction, and queer social life, she advocates a move away from understandings of digital media technologies as intrinsically exploitative or empowering. By reinstating the media as constant material agents in the process of politicization, Fotopoulou creates a powerful text that appeals to students and scholars of digital media, gender and sexuality, and readers interested in the role of media technologies in activism.



development feminism media network new media social change social science activism digital

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of Brighton BrightonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Dr Aristea Fotopoulou is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, School of Media, University of Brighton, UK. She researches critical aspects of digital culture, emerging technologies and social change. Currently she writes about cultures, practices and subjectivities that relate to self-tracking and big data, from a feminist perspective. 


Bibliographic information


“How are new forms of political subject and political practice possible? The focus of cultural studies for decades, this question acquires new urgency in the digital era with its radically new possibilities for acting together and in view of each other. Aristea Fotopoulou’s exciting book explores, across diverse and imaginatively selected case studies, the potential for feminist and queer activists to establish new ground and, in the process, change our vision of what politics might be. Highly recommended.” (Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK and author of “Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics after Neoliberalism”) 

“What do feminism and queer activism mean in an era when digital technologies are so intimately entangled with cultural, economic and political life? In Feminist Activism and Digital Networks, Aristea Fotopoulou gives us an original take on this question, steering a careful course between celebration and despair,  and offering nuanced discussions of contemporary digital biopolitics from alt porn to fertility apps to anarcho-queer placed-based interventions.” (Rosalind Gill, City, University of London, UK)

“Feminist Activism and Digital Networks is an urgently needed antidote to what Dr. Fotopoulou refers to as the invisibility of gender and sexuality as embodied practices in communication studies and social movement studies alike. Focusing on the lively and important forms of feminism occurring in digital networked cultures as spaces of tension and contradiction, possibilities and foreclosures, Dr. Fotopoulou brilliantly helps us understand the complex nature of activism and connectivity in contemporary feminist theory and activism. This book should be required reading for social justice classrooms.” (Carol Stabile, University of Oregon, USA, Managing Editor, Fembot Collective, Co-editor Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology)