Johnny Unger: Online activism practices - a critical approach

Date: 22 May 2012 Time: 1 - 2 pm

Venue: C89, County South

Johnny Unger, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University:

The internet comprises a constantly changing communicative space in the public (and semi-public) sphere. 'Online activism', i.e. the use of the internet by activists to raise awareness about social issues, to organise campaigns, or to exert pressure on institutions, has seen a vast increase in recent years, which has accompanied the exponential increase in the use of the internet in general, and social media such as Facebook in particular. However, the media and to a certain extent scholars have created a false dichotomy between 'online' and 'offline' resistance. Protesters in recent movements such as the Arab Springs and Occupy have engaged in practices involving a variety of technologies (which I define broadly to include not just computers and social media but also 'lo-tech' phenomena such as banners and voices) simultaneously.

By situating the study of online political resistance practices within the academic fields of critical and computer mediated discourse analysis, and also within the broader public debate on the role of online media in political struggles, I hope to offer some new methodological and theoretical perspectives on research in this area.

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Johann Unger (Linguistics and English Language)

Organising departments and research centres: Educational Research, Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Computer-mediated communication, Critical discourse analysis, Digital literacies, Discourse analysis