The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism

cover of the routledge companion to media and activism

I have a chapter in the soon-to-be-published Routledge Companion to Media and Activism (edited by Graham Meikle)!

My chapter is titled “Transformative media organizing: Key lessons from participatory communications research with the immigrant rights, Occupy, and LGBTQ & Two-Spirit movements.” Here’s the abstract:

The relationship between the media and social movements is hotly contested by scholars and activists alike. However, relatively few studies are grounded in the deep specificity of social movement media practices, and fewer still employ participatory action research approaches. This chapter summarizes findings from a decade of mixed methods participatory action research with three social movements in the United States: the immigrant rights movement (between 2006-2016), the Occupy movement (2011-2012), and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer (LGBTQ) and Two-Spirit movement(s) (2014-2016). Research methods include surveys, interviews, analysis of media archives, data hackathons and participatory data analysis, and community-based media making workshops. Across the three movements, we found that despite scarce resources, community organizers often have an intersectional analysis of linked systems of race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other axes of identity. Many seek to do media work that develops the critical consciousness and leadership of their communities, create media in ways that are deeply accountable to their social base, use participatory approaches to media making, are strategic and cross-platform in their approach, and root their work in community action. We call this combination of characteristics transformative media organizing, and we believe it describes an emerging paradigm for social movement media practices in the current media landscape. 

Here’s more about the book, from the publisher:

The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism is a wide-ranging collection of 42 original and authoritative essays by leading contributors from a variety of academic disciplines.

Introducing and exploring central debates about the diverse relationships between both media and protest and communication and social change, the book offers readers a reliable and informed guide to understanding how media and activism influence each other. The expert contributors examine the tactics and strategies of protest movements, and how activists organize themselves and each other; they investigate the dilemmas of media coverage, and the creation of alternative media spaces and platforms; and they emphasize the importance of creativity and art in social change.

Bringing together case studies and contributors from six continents, the collection is organized around themes that address past, present and future developments from around the world. The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism is an essential reference and guide for those who want to understand this vital area.

Routledge’s site seems to be down at the moment, but for now you can preorder on Amazon, here.

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