What does it mean to have a voice in a formal democracy operating under neoliberal guidelines and with an almost entirely private media system? How can the people gain their voice and engage in a dialogue with hegemonic actors and discourses?
In this book, Jorge Saavedra Utman examines the role of media and communicative practices during one of the largest social mobilizations in Latin America in the last 30 years: Chile’s 2011 students’ movement. Saavedra Utman observes the eye-catching, subversive, but also intimate practices that, in a country with a liberal democracy and neoliberal policies, allowed people to speak up and become political actors from grassroots positions. Presenting rich qualitative data that is sourced from interviews and focus groups with activists, he introduces a fresh perspective on the study of media and communications and social movements. Saavedra Utman paints a clearer picture of contentious events since 2011 - like the Arab Spring and Occupy – to understand the relevance of media and communications in contemporary quests for participation and democracy.
Promising to be an important book, The Media Commons and Social Movements represents a significant contribution to our understanding of communicative dimensions of protest and social change.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Chile, 2011, and the Students’ Movement 1. The Struggle for Voice in Times of Democracy and Neoliberalism 2. The People and Their Eviction from Public Space 3. Knitting the Commons: Whispers and Trust in Walled Intimacy 4. Embodying the Commons: Occupying the Urban Realm 5. Imagining the Commons: Articulating ‘Us’ in Mainstream Media 6. Bursting the Commons: Internet and The Short Life of Solidarity 7. Conclusion: The Communicative (And Political) Quest for A Meaningful Democracy
Jorge Saavedra Utman is Lecturer in the Sociology of Media and Culture at the University of Cambridge.