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Digitally networked movements as problematization and politicization

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This paper develops the concepts of politicization and problematization using two case studies from Spain. Politicization involves the process of interest articulation and demands for identity recognition whereas problematization concerns placing into question and taking action with respect to otherwise naturalized aspects of politics and society. These concepts are studied in the context of a demonstration by the Indignados as well as a general strike in Spain. The data analysis involves the collection and analysis of tweets produced in relation to both demonstrations using natural language processing. The results indicate a higher degree of calls for problematization during the Indiginados protest whereas there is more evidence of politicization during the general strike. These communications suggest that each movement engages politics on different terms with the Indignados embracing more of a problematization discourse centred on taking action and operating from within the political system whereas the unions have engaged in more of a politicization discourse aimed at petitioning political elites from outsize the political system and eschewing political action themselves.
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Keywords: Political participation; big data; internet; political campaigns; political communication; political parties

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia

Publication date: November 2, 2015

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