Digital Spring? New media and new politics on the campus

Bessant, Judith (2014) Digital Spring? New media and new politics on the campus. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 35(2), pp. 249-265.

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Whilst the dynamics informing processes have taken time to become clear, civic resistance initiated by young people using new media began in Egypt in 2010 against the Mubarak regime, soon widened to Tunisia, Yemen and Libya. Known as the 'Arab Spring', this phenomenon re-ignited discussion about the political role of digital space and its democratic potential. While parallels between authoritarian regimes and universities and educational institutions might seem overdrawn to some readers, I suggest there is value in considering the 'Digital Spring' (apropos the 'Arab Spring') as a metaphor to suggest the possibility that similar processes are taking place in schools and universities. This invites discussion about the political significance of digital space and its democratic potential in those institutions. To assess how some young people engage in digitally mediated politics within schools and universities, I identify five propositions which amalgamate descriptive and normative elements derived from Habermas and Dahlgren. These propositions offer an ideal taxonomy of normative and descriptive elements to establish whether digital technology promotes participation and debate in ways that sustain democratic practice.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 80400
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: new media, civic space, politics, deliberative democracy, education, public sphere, HERN
DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2012.745734
ISSN: 0159-6306
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2015 22:48
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2015 02:14

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