Advertisement

Social Media and Counter-Democracy: The Contingences of Participation

  • Peter Dahlgren
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7444)

Abstract

As democracy goes through various crisis and citizens increasingly disengage with traditional party politics, extra-parliamentarian, alternative modes of democratic politics emerge on many fronts; manifesting a development towards what is called counter-democracy. Debates on the role of the internet in democracy have been with us since its inception; today the discussions focus on social media, which have quickly emerged as public sphere sites and tools for democratic participation. My argument rests on the notion of contingency: the factors that make a phenomenon possible but also that delimit it. In this presentation I look at some key contingencies of political economy, technology, and socio-cultural patterns and how they impact on the spaces of online participation and the forms of identity that they foster. In particular I note the emergence of what I call the solo sphere as a mode of participation that has debilitating consequences for alternative politics.

Keywords

social media political participation counter-democracy web environment civic engagement 

References

  1. 1.
    Agamben, G., et al.: Democracy in What State? Columbia University Press, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Harvey, D.: A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Harvey, D.: The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism. Profile Books, London (2011)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fisher, M.: Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? Zero Books, Ropley (2009)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bauman, Z.: Collateral Damage: Social Inequalities in a Global Age. Polity Press, Cambridge (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sandel, M.: What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. Allen Lane, London (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Couldry, N.: Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics After Neoliberalism. Sage, London (2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lewis, J.: Crisis in the Global Mediasphere: Desire, Displeasure and Cultural Transformation. Basingstoke, Palgrave (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Young, J.: The Vertigo of Late Modernity. Sage, London (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bauman, Z.: Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty. Polity Press, Cambridge (2007)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Crouch, C.: The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism. Polity Press, Cambridge (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rosanvallon, P.: Counter-Democracy: Politics in an Age of Distrust. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2008)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lovink, G.: Networks Without a Cause: A Critique of Social Media. Polity, Cambridge (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Baym, N.K.: Personal Connections in the Digital Age. Polity Press, Cambridge (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Castells, M.: Communication Power. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fenton, N.: The Internet and Social Networking. In: Curran, J., Fenton, N., Freedman, D. (eds.) Misunderstanding the Internet, pp. 123–148. Routledge, Abington (2012)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Couldry, N.: Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice. Polity Press, Cambridge (2012)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dahlgren, P.: Media and Political Engagement. Cambridge University Press, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Loader, B., Mercea, D. (eds.): Social Media and Democracy. Routledge, Abingdon (2012)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Feenberg, A., Freisen, N. (eds.) (Re)inventing the Internet: Critical Case Studies. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam (2012)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    The Communication Review: Special Issue: Twitter Revolutions? Addressing Social Media and Dissent. 14(3) (2011)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    The Journal of Communication: Special Issue: Social Media and Political Change 62(2) (2012)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fuchs, C.: Foundation of Critical Media and Information Studies. Routedge, Abington (2011)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Fuchs, C.: A Contribution to the Critique of the Political Economy of Google. FAST CAPITALISM 8.1 (2011), http://www.fastcapitalism.com
  25. 25.
    Vaidhyanatha, S.: The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry). University of California Press, Berkeley (2011)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cleland, S., Brodky, I.: Search and Destroy: Why You Can’t Trust Google. Telescope Books, St. Louis (2011)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Beer, D.: Power Through the Algorithm? Participatory Web Cultures and the Technological Unconscious. New Media and Society 11(6), 985–1002 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Goldberg, G.: Rethinking the Public/Virtual Sphere: The Problem with Participation. New Media and Society 13(5), 739–754 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Turow, J.: The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth. Yale University Press, New Haven (2011)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    MacKinnon, R.: Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom. Basic Books, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Dwyer, T.: Net worth: Popular Social Networks as Colossal Marketing Machines. In: Sussman, G. (ed.) Propaganda Society: Promotional Culture and Politics in Global Context, pp. 77–92. Peter Lang, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Grimmelmann, J.: Facebook and the Social Dynamics of Privacy (August 25, 2008), http://www.ciberdemocracia.es/recursos/textosrelevantes/facebook.pdf
  33. 33.
    Casrtoriadis, C.: Psychoanalysis and Philosphy, id, The Casatoriadis Reader. Blackwell, Oxford (1997)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Straume, I.: The Political Imaginary of Global Capitalism. In: Straume, I.S., Humphrey, J.F. (eds.) Depoliticization: The Political Imaginary of Global Capitalism, pp. 27–50. NSU Press, Malmö (2011)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lievrouw, L.A.: Alternative and Activist New Media. Polity Press, Cambridge (2011)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Papacharissi, Z.: A Private Sphere: Democracy in a Digital Age. Polity Press, Cambridge (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Dahlgren
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Communication and MediaLund UniversityLundSweden

Personalised recommendations