Democracy in an age of viral reality: A media epidemiography of Spain’s indignados movement

  title={Democracy in an age of viral reality: A media epidemiography of Spain’s indignados movement},
  author={John Postill},
  pages={51 - 69}
The present article draws from fieldwork on the indignados (or 15M) movement in Spain to propose a new approach to the study of protest movements in the digital era: ‘media epidemiography’. This composite of the terms ‘epidemiology’ and ‘ethnography’ is used as a heuristic to address the research challenge of today’s swiftly evolving techno-political terrains. I argue that viral media have played a key role in Spain’s indignados movement, with Twitter as the central site of propagation… 

Figures from this paper

An Evaluation of the Spanish Indignados/15M Movement

In 2011, there were intense protest movements around the world. These protest movements were not limited to underdeveloped or less developed countries. Likewise developed or developing countries with

So ‘Hot’ Right Now Reflections on Virality and Sociality from Transnational Digital China

Abstract A reflection of both the intensity of sharing practices and the appeal of shared content, the term ‘viral’ is often seen as coterminous with the digital media age. In particular, social

The indignados social movement and the image of the occupied square: the making of a global icon

This article is concerned with how the indignados social movement (also known as M15) used distinctive symbolic and visual communication strategies to articulate their collective self-representation

Media and social changing since 1979: Towards a diachronic ethnography of media and actual social changes 1

In this paper I address the question of how to study media and social change ethnographically. To do so I draw from the relevant media anthropology literature, including my own research in Malaysia

When Narratives Travel: The Occupy Movement in Latvia and Sweden

In autumn 2011, the Occupy movement emerged as a global phenomenon with camps all over the world. Since then it has changed considerably. The encampments have disappeared, but a number of working

Assemblies and the struggle to diffuse power: Ethnographic examples and contemporary practices

: Th e article is focused on the practical mechanisms of assembly management in egalitarian settings in a comparative perspective: on the one hand, I examine assemblies in what may be termed classic

Brokerage, Creativity and Space: Protest Culture in Indonesia

ABSTRACT Protest movements in Indonesia resist the government’s liberal development policies and the destruction of culture and environment through capitalist intrusion and land (or sea) grabbing.

Small acts and personal politics: On helping to save the orangutan via social media

7 LIANA CHUA Liana Chua is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Brunel University London. She has worked with an indigenous group in Malaysian Borneo since 2003 and is currently leading a European

Spanish anarchist engagements in electoralism: from street to party politics

Abstract The eruption of the Spanish 15M movement in 2011 was marked by a high degree of political participation and creative experimentation. The political repertoire has constantly been

Politics in Spain: A Case of Monitory Democracy

Analysing the current political context in Spain is a major challenge to political theory. Spain is experiencing the accumulation of trends that in recent years have focused the attention of most



Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times

Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times, edited by Megan Boler, points out the dangers of being reduced to “dividuals” as well as potential for disruptions that allow for resistance to

Reflections on #Occupy Everywhere: Social media, public space, and emerging logics of aggregation

This article explores the links between social media and public space within the #Occupy Everywhere movements. Whereas listservs and websites helped give rise to a widespread logic of networking

Media and Nation Building: How the Iban Became Malaysian

"Postill's book will provide a stimulating read to anyone interested in the broad field of nationalism studies.a breakthrough attempt to bring nation building back on the agenda of media and

Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain

List of Illustrations Preface Introduction I. Cultural Activism and Minority Claims 1. Screen Memories: Resignifying the Traditional in Indigenous Media Faye Ginsburg 2. Visual Media and the

The Social Circulation of Media Discourse and the Mediation of Communities

This article demonstrates how mass media, because of their extensive accessibility and scope, can serve as both reservoirs and reference points for the circulation of words, phrases, and discourse

From spectacle to spectacular: How physical space, social media and mainstream broadcast amplified the public sphere in Egypt's ‘Revolution’

This study examines the impact of the media during the Egyptian uprising of 2011 and the extent that amplification occurred between the inter-related spaces of the physical (protests), the analogue

Fifteen Minutes of Fame: The Power of Blogs in the Lifecycle of Viral Political Information

It is shown that elite and top-general blogs ignite the virality process, which means that they get the chance to frame messages and influence agenda setting, while, top-political and tail blogs act as followers in the process.

Networking Futures: The Movements against Corporate Globalization

List of Illustrations and Tables ix Acknowledgments xi Abbreviations xv Introduction: The Cultural Logic of Networking 1 1. The Seattle Effect 27 2. Anti-Corporate Globalization Soldiers in Barcelona

And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture

Journalist and new media provocateur Bill Wasik journeys to the edge of a churning and rambunctious viral culture to illuminate how anyone with a computer can initiate a small ripple of a story that

(How) will the revolution be retweeted?: information diffusion and the 2011 Egyptian uprising

This paper examines microblogging information diffusion activity during the 2011 Egyptian political uprisings. Specifically, we examine the use of the retweet mechanism on Twitter, using empirical