Citizen Media and Practice: Currents, Connections, Challenges, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Citizen Media and Practice

Currents, Connections, Challenges, 1st Edition

Edited by Hilde C. Stephansen, Emiliano Treré


290 pages

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This groundbreaking collection advances understanding of the concept of media practices by critically interrogating its relevance for the study of citizen and activist media.

Media as practice has emerged as a powerful approach to understanding the media’s significance in contemporary society. Bringing together contributions from leading scholars in sociology, media and communication, social movement and critical data studies, this book stimulates dialogue across previously separate traditions of research on citizen and activist media practices and stakes out future directions for research in this burgeoning interdisciplinary field. Framed by a foreword by Nick Couldry and a substantial introductory chapter by the editors, contributions to the volume trace the roots and appropriations of the concept of media practice in Latin American communication theory; reflect on the relationship between activist agency and technological affordances; explore the relevance of the media practice approach for the study of media activism, including activism that takes media as its central object of struggle; and demonstrate the significance of the media practice approach for understanding processes of mediatization and datafication.

Offering both a comprehensive introduction to scholarship on citizen media and practice and a cutting-edge exploration of a novel theoretical framework, the book is ideal for students and experienced scholars alike.


"Thinking about and exploring media practices entail the recognition that we need another kind of gaze, other points of view, other places from which to make sense of culture and the media. Citizen Media and Practice provides a renewed understanding of media practices in connection to the people and the territories they inhabit. The book explores the ambiguities of media practices and charts the possibilities they open up to imagine another kind of world and connect to other ways of thinking about culture."

Jesús Martín-Barbero, author of Communication, culture and hegemony: From the media to mediations (Sage, 1993) (Orig. edition: De los Medios a las Mediaciones. Comunicación, cultura y hegemonía, Gustavo Gilli, 1987)

"Citizen Media and Practice is an outstanding contribution to practice-oriented research on citizen and activist media today. Its contributions are delicately balanced for stimulating interdisciplinary cross-fertilisation based on empirical research into a great diversity of topics related to media activism and social movements in Europe and Latin America. The book offers an up-to-date, cutting-edge overview of how practice approaches are useful for grasping contemporary activism and media processes, and how materialities, digitalities, discourses, bodies, affects and emotions are embedded into political actions that aim to change the world we live in, through our makings and aspirations, doings and sayings. This book demonstrates that practice theories are alive and kicking because they are powerful tools to understand ourselves as citizens; active agents of the world we inhabit".

Elisenda Ardèvol, Professor in Social and Cultural Anthropology at UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Barcelona. Director of the Mediaccions Research Group in Culture and Digital Communication.

"Stephansen and Treré have brought together a very competent and interdisciplinary collective of researchers that together have delivered an inspiring book! It builds necessary bridges between Anglo-Saxon and Latin American scholarship; it retrieves relevant and almost forgotten past research, letting it inform contemporary scholarship: and it establishes connections between research into citizen media practice with relevant and emerging fields of inquiry in the social sciences. The result is a very commendable book that challenges and pushes the boundaries of not only media scholarship but of social science more broadly."

Thomas Tufte, Professor at and Director of the Institute for Media and Creative Industries, Loughborough University London. Author of Communication and Social Change – A Citizen Perspective (Polity, 2017)

"There is a terrific immediacy to Citizen Media and Practice. Reading this book feels like sneaking into an advanced seminar with leading Latin American and anglophone scholars as they debate the latest implications of the ‘practice turn’ for the study of media, communication and social movements.

John Postill, Senior Lecturer in Communication at RMIT University, Melbourne, author of The Rise of Nerd Politics (Pluto, 2018)

"This book is a timely and necessary overview of the notion of "media as practice." It blends insights from Latin American and Northern communication scholarship, and takes stock of the current state of the research. The chapters provide a wealth of insights to further refine the understanding of "what citizens (and social movements) do with media". At a time of growing concerns about the rise of anti-progressive movements around the world, this book delivers hope without rose-tinted, unrealistic promises. Amid the current obsession with data, measurement and technology, this book reminds us why organized, ordinary citizens matter in the struggle to challenge power."

Silvio Waisbord, Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University, past Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Communication (2015-2018), author of Communication: A Post-Discipline (Polity, 2019).

"From data practices to video activism, this book brings together the best scholars in the field who explore the stories, the values and struggles of those working on citizen media. A must read for anyone interested in these media forms, their social importance, and their struggle for social justice".

Veronica Barassi, Senior Lecturer, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University of London. Author of Activism on the Web: Everyday Struggles Against Digital Capitalism (Routledge, 2015)

Table of Contents

  1. Practice what you preach? Currents, connections and challenges in theorizing citizen media and practice
  2. Hilde C. Stephansen and Emiliano Treré

    Part I: Latin American communication theory


    Clemencia Rodríguez

  3. The Latin American ‘lo popular’ as a theory of communication: ways of seeing communication practices
  4. Omar Rincón and Amparo Marroquín

  5. Praxis in Latin American communication thought: a critical appraisal
  6. Alejandro Barranquero

  7. Educommunication for social change: contributions to the construction of a theory of activist media practices
  8. Ángel Barbas

    Part II: Activist agency and technological affordances


    Donatella della Porta

  9. A genealogy of communicative affordances and activist self-mediation practices
  10. Bart Cammaerts

  11. Time of protest: an archaeological perspective on media practices
  12. Anne Kaun

    Part III: Practice approaches to video activism


    Dorothy Kidd

  13. Video activism as technology, text, testimony practices
  14. Tina Askanius

  15. Activist media practices, alternative media and online digital traces: the case of YouTube in the Italian SNOQ movement
  16. Alice Mattoni and Elena Pavan

    Section IV: Acting on media


    Andreas Hepp

  17. Acting on media for sustainability
  18. Sigrid Kannengießer

  19. Conceptualizing the role of knowledge in acting on media
  20. Hilde C. Stephansen

    Section V: Citizen data practices


    Helen Kennedy

  21. Acting on data(fication)
  22. Stefania Milan

  23. Understanding citizen data practices from a feminist perspective: embodiment and the ethics of care
  24. Aristea Fotopoulou

  25. Situating practices in datafication – from above and below

Lina Dencik

About the Author/Editors

Hilde C. Stephansen is Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Westminster, London.

Emiliano Treré is Senior Lecturer in Media Ecologies and Social Transformation at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University.

About the Series

Critical Perspectives on Citizen Media

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies