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The myth of an egalitarian Internet: Occupy Wall Street and the mediatization of social movements

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This article provides an analysis of the US-based Occupy Wall Street movement and its apparently more egalitarian deployment of the Internet. It considers how protest movements have been symbolically mediated through the social media tropes associated with the decentralization of power. However, it is necessary to review the complexities of horizontal social movements, the ambiguities of networked forms of communications and the more individualized types of political discourse that have been associated with ‘lifestyle’ anarchist or alternative groups. Therefore, the online protest paradigm does not simplistically equate with a mythologized equality. Instead, it is necessary to address a more complex series of cultural and material variables that have emerged in the wake of online activity.
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Keywords: Occupy Wall Street; egalitarianism; horizontalism; media logic; mediatization; mythology; social movements

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Victoria University of Wellington

Publication date: 01 November 2017

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  • The International Journal of Digital Television will describe and explain the transition to digital TV and wider trends in television. As switchover happens across the globe and television's operations and audiences are transformed, the International Journal of Digital Television will be at the forefront of efforts to understand the changes and developments.
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