Learning in social media movement cultures

Networked society for the feminist agenda presents the libertarian vision of Web 2.0 as a democratic and open space of opportunities for women’s group to connect in a fashion of “networked feminism”. As Aristea Fotopoulo (2016)  points out in line with Castell, the logics of network dominates, imposing a need to be networked for the viability of feminist agendas, while embodied limitations of aging and material limitations of funding work in tension with its utopian ideological constructions. In her work, I see two important factors: the imposition of network logic in becoming a viable subject, and the need to interrogate the embodied corporeality as a way to account for what ‘matters’ and what doesn’t ‘matter’ in Networks.

Sasha Costanza-Chock’s “Mic Check! Media Cultures and the Occupy Movement” shows an added layer of nuance in social media movement cultures. That while networked organization dominates, it works in accordance with other low tech forms of media production, and face-to-face facilitations. So while being networked gives visibility to a movement, such network is not technologically determined but interrelated with real life facilitations. Underlining Fotopoulo work, that technical literacy gives social capital in networked feminism. Costanza-Chock shows that in activism, the expertise of movement actors is integral in situating important infrastructure in these horizontal movements. I think both speaks to the amount tacit labour needed in social media movement cultures and cannot just privilege social media platforms with determinist characterizes, but how a network of transnational media is entangled with traditional activism work. In a sense, the corporeal embodied skills (whether its technical literacy or having experience with similar social movements before) is a factor in deciding visibility in a network.

Most interestingly, the question I wish to ask is how does the metaphor of network or networked culture map out learning in social media movement culture and networked feminism. I think the movement actors travelling from one social movement to another, also show case that social movements learn collectively as a group, and can mobilize that embodied knowledge.  How do we conceptualize and map the mobility of affect in these springs of revolution and the mobility of knowledge in a network theory?




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