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How can we understand and evaluate the relationship between democracy and recent global protests in response to economic globalization? Criticisms of this type of activism understand democratic communication to be primarily a public process. I argue that instead, we need to develop a more fully cultural understanding of democracy and communication, one which would take into account important characteristics of contemporary democratic practice and experience. That is, as a resonant but unstable compound of meanings, democracy is integrated into individual subjectivities and collective identities through a whole variety of lived experiences, particularly in relation to mediated and symbolic practice.