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New media & society (2014)
Recently, social movements worldwide have introduced innovations in their communication methods. The #spanishrevolution that started on 15 May 2011 shows this new-style communication in action. Amidst regional election campaigning, thousands of people, mainly young, took to the streets and occupied Spain’s main squares, becoming known as the Outraged (los Indignados) or 15M Movement. This article evaluates how the Outraged involved with the #acampadabcn, the camp in Barcelona’s central square, used online–offline tools to get information about the Movement. This research combines participant observation, surveys, in-depth interviews, and web analytics. The results show that social media were vital for getting information during 15M. While the majority of those surveyed became aware of the camps via word of mouth, a posteriori it was social media that were the main tools for informing and mobilizing. 15M Movement, together with networked social movements, has updated the communication methods of social movements.
New media & society (2016)
The rise of mobile food vending in US cities combines urban space and mobility with continuous online communication. Unlike traditional urban spaces that are predictable and known, contemporary vendors use information technology to generate impromptu social settings in unconventional and often underutilized spaces. This unique condition requires new methods that interpret online communication as a critical component in the production of new forms of public life. We suggest qualitative approaches combined with data-driven analyses are necessary when planning for emergent behavior. In Charlotte, NC, we investigate the daily operations, tweet content, and spatial and temporal sequencing of six vendors over an extended period of time. The study illustrates the interrelationship between data, urban space, and time and finds that a significant proportion of tweet content is used to announce vending locations in a time-based pattern and that the spatial construction of events is often independent of traditional urban form.
City & Community (2003)
Concerns have been expressed that Internet use may affect social participation and involvement in the local community. Internet use can be viewed as a time-consuming activity, and it may come at the expense of face-to-face activities. The time people devote to using the Internet might replace time spent on neighborly relations and community involvement. However, the use of computer-mediated communication in geographically-based communities might also increase face-to-face communication and even solve some of the problems associated with decreasing participation and involvement in the local community. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between membership in a geographically-based mailing list and locally based social ties. A web-based survey of subscribers to two suburban mailing lists in Israel was conducted to investigate the relationship between membership in a mailing list and neighborhood social ties, social ties in the extended community, and the movement from online to face-to-face relationships. It was found that although membership on the mailing list did not affect the extent of neighborhood interactions, it increased the number of individuals a participant knew in the community. Online relationships with members of the local community proved likely to change into face-to-face relationships. The results imply that community networking increases social involvement and participation not in the immediate neighborhood but in the extended community and serves to complement traditional channels of communication.
New media & society (2014)
This article interrogates the emerging modes of civic engagement connected to the mobile camera-phone, and the ways in which they require us to rethink what it is to bear witness to brutality in the age of fundamentally camera-mediated mass self-publication. I argue that the camera-phone permits entirely new performative rituals of bearing witness, such as dissenting bodies en masse recording their own repression and, via wireless global communication networks, effectively mobilizing this footage as graphic testimony in a bid to produce feelings of political solidarity. Critically, the performance of what I elect to call ‘citizen camera-witnessing’, as exemplified by contemporary street opposition movements including those in Burma, Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria, derives its potency from the ways it reactivates the idea of martyrdom: that is, from its distinct claim to truth in the name of afflicted people who put their bodies on the line to record the injustice of oppression.
New media & society (2015)
At the dawn of modernity, in the 18th century, space became a critical category in defining generational attributes and locations. However, borders that previously tightly isolated adults and children are nowadays continuously challenged and modified by a constant and ubiquitous use of new information and communication technologies, namely the Internet, blurring notions of ‘private’ and ‘public’, ‘outdoors’ and ‘indoors’, ‘real’ and ‘virtual’. Giving voice to children, this article explores qualitative empirical data from a research project carried out in Portugal. It focuses on children as subjects and actors of these processes, especially in the way they combine ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ space and place in a geography of their own.
Children, Youth and Environments (2008)
In a research project carried out in various neighborhoods in Stockholm, Sweden, we have developed a method for facilitating children’s influence on spatial planning. Our goal was to construct a vehicle for communication that could work in practice for both children and teachers as well as for planners. The method uses computerized GIS maps—a common tool in spatial planning. With little assistance, 10- to 12-year-old children map their routes and special places, mark activities and write comments. Teachers can also map routes and places used for education. The results have proved reliable and accessible by planners. Use of the mapping method within the school curriculum and in the planning process is broadly discussed in the paper.
New media & society (2010)
The development and proliferation of mobile social networks have the potential to transform ways that people come together and interact in public space.These services allow new kinds of information to flow into public spaces and, as such, can rearrange social and spatial practices. Dodgeball is used as a case study of mobile social networks. Based on a year-long qualitative field study, this article explores how Dodgeball was used to facilitate social congregation in public spaces and begins to expand our understanding of traditional notions of space and social interaction. Drawing on the concept of parochial space, this article examines how ideas of mobile communication and public space are negotiated in the everyday practice and use of mobile social networks.
New media & society (2014)
Crowdmapping and geolocated protests form complex multilayered systems of communicated spaces and places that can only be partially grasped by the available literature. This article responds to these limitations by presenting a model for the analysis of the composition of space and place in networked geolocated activities. The model identifies the several forms of expression, opens four modes of analysis (representations, textures, structures, and connections), and allows the consideration of the communication devices involved, while highlighting the forms of power behind the social and cultural practices of protests and crowdmapping. The model is applied to the case of Voces25s, a protest action against the Spanish government’s austerity measures in September 2012, which relied heavily on interactive, networked maps. Furthermore, the raised sensitivity for space and place as forms of social (in)justice opens a fertile empirical research agenda in the area of the governance of communicative spaces.
The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology (2013)
The public sphere has been centre stage in celebrations of India's political triumphs. Leading commentators tell us that the astonishing post-independence surge of democracy has been contingent on the rise of a new kind of sociopolitical formation: the public sphere. This paper takes a closer look at the popular deliberative terrain in North India to question this claim. Drawing on research conducted in a provincial town in the North Indian state of Rajasthan, we see that where metropolitan political theorists see 'transparency' as promoting discursive and political possibilities, Rajasthani villagers see an exposure which prevents expression, communication and the making of political choices. In their view, it is secrecy and social seclusion that enable political interactions and elicit political judgments. 'The public sphere' is an unfit heuristic for locating popular politics within (and beyond) Rajasthan, where it obscures much more than it reveals.
New Media & Society (2011)
The goal of this article is two-fold: to introduce the concept of augmented deliberation and to demonstrate its implementation in a pilot project.We look specifically at a project called Hub2. This community engagement project employed the online virtual world Second Life to augment community deliberation in the planning of a neighborhood park in Boston, Massachusetts. The local community was invited to gather in a physical space and a virtual space simultaneously, and a physical moderator and virtual designer orchestrated deliberation.This project demonstrates the design values central to augmented deliberation: (1) it is a multimedia group communication process which balances the specific affordances of digital technologies with the established qualities of face-to-face group deliberation; (2) it emphasizes the power of experience; and (3) it promotes sustainability and reproducibility through digital tracking. Augmented deliberation, when properly designed, provides a powerful mechanism to enable productive and meaningful public deliberation. The article concludes with directions for further research.
New media & society (2010)
Location-aware mobile media allow users to see their locations on a map on their mobile phone screens. These applications either disclose the physical positions of known friends, or represent the locations of groups of unknown people. We call these interfaces eponymous and anonymous, respectively. This article presents our classification of eponymous and anonymous location-aware interfaces by investigating how these applications may require us to rethink our understanding of urban sociability, particularly how we coordinate and communicate in public spaces. We argue that common assumptions made about location-aware mobile media, namely their ability to increase one’s spatial awareness and to encourage one to meet more people in public spaces, might be fallacious due to pre-existing practices of sociability in the city. We explore these issues in the light of three bodies of theory: Goffman’s presentation of self in everyday life, Simmel’s ideas on sociability, and Lehtonen and Mäenpää’s concept of street sociability.
Journal of Urban Design (2007)
Spatial synergy, as defined in this paper, is composed of characteristics of physical-spatial organization of the city which support the actions and behaviour of people, particularly in public space (supportiveness). Spatial synergy concerns the relationship between ‘things and things’, while supportiveness concerns the relationship between ‘people and things’. In the context of the city, things are buildings, technical facilities and plantings; people are the inhabitants and other users. Spatial synergy is achieved through a specific way of arranging buildings, technical facilities and plantings to form open spaces (space segments or places). It is achieved through the way these are interrelated (‘relation and communication’) within the urban fabric. It is also achieved through the degree of accessibility of all such defined places within a settlement unit (‘universal distance’). The physical-spatial characteristics that support actions and behaviour in public spaces (supportive characteristics) are simultaneously those towards which urban design should be directed, if it is to fulfil its purpose. In this context the author emphasizes the viewpoint, in contrast to the tradition of the Modern Movement, that public space has to be the decisive component in creating and developing settlement units that are habitable in the true sense.
Urban studies (2006)
Over recent decades, cities have been radically transformed by information and communication technologies (ICTs) that modify people’s daily lives by reorganising mobility, infrastructure sys- tems and physical spaces. However, in addition to the role that technology plays in the develop- ment of the infrastructure in our cities, it is also being used ‘as a means of control’. This view of technology as a disciplinary tool that restructures space, time and the relations among activities has been promoted by scholars who have shown that technology is also a means of saturating and sustaining contemporary capitalist societies and deepening inequalities. However, the situa- tion is far more complex than that. Technology is not only used top-down but also bottom-up, with individuals using technological devices to share and enhance their visibility in space. This bidirectional paradigm – of vertical surveillance and horizontal sharing – contributes to a sense of ‘being exposed’ in public space that normalises practices of sharing personal data by individuals and thus results in diminished privacy. This argument is supported by an experiment conducted on smartphone users that includes personal interviews and the use of a smartphone Android application that combines online tracking with experience sampling. The findings show a conver- gence between the online and offline worlds (a ‘public’ situation in the offline world is also consid- ered as such in the online world), which is a condition that contributes to the normalisation of ‘asymmetrical visibility’. Based on these results, the paper ends with a discussion of the contem- porary meaning of public space.
Journal of Urban Design (2004)
The main public spaces in European cities are the focus of much attention, whereas marginal public spaces are places of neglect and decline. The concentration of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in limited spaces creates a sense of entrapment. The social fragments that have been put next to each other in deprived neighbourhoods, either by market forces or by public planning, start to crack in public places of these neighbourhoods. On the one hand, intensive use of space by some groups excludes and intimidates others. On the other hand, the limited amount of public space is under the threat of encroachment by other demands on a finite commodity. In these places of fragmentation and competition, communication is often difficult, if not impossible, as different social groups speak different languages, have different attitudes and have different frameworks. A public space that allows this diversity to become aware of itself through free expression can be a significant asset for such a diverse population. Improving public places can improve the actual conditions of life in these neighbour- hoods, while injecting a sense of hope and a better image in the eyes of residents and the outside world. Although a key part of good governance, there is no doubt that this should be put in perspective, as one among a number of issues that need addressing.
Theory and Society (2017)
This study examines the first two years of a tactical innovation that emerged in 2012 in Egypt, which involved activist groups organizing patrol-type "intervention teams" to combat sexual violence against women in public spaces. Findings reveal that the new tactic took different forms in the two places in which it was deployed, even though the same actors employed it. I argue that the place in which a new tactic emerges shapes the form it takes. When coming up with a new collective action tactic, activists elaborate visions about how to carry out their actions based on their collective identities and taste in tactics. But as they start experimenting with the new tactic on the ground, they learn about the places' material affordances, symbolic valence, and power relations, as well as the constraints and opportunities that they represent. The material properties of places shape activists' possibilities of movement, patterns of communication, field of vision, and capacity to escape repression or reach safe spaces. The configuration of actors in a place shapes the nature of their interactions with others on the ground, possible alliances, and sources of conflict. The symbolic meanings of places shape the resonance of a group’s actions and the degree of resistance that actors face. Place in part determines the ability of activists to develop a tactic in the form that best fits their preferences.
Annals of the Association of American Geographers (1995)
The nature of public space in contemporary society is changing. This paper uses the turmoil over People's Park in Berkeley, California, as a means for exploring changing ideas about and practices in public space. I argue that as public space is increasingly privatized or otherwise brought under greater control, possibilities for democratic action are minimized. To make this claim, I provide a brief outline of the roots of the August 1991 riots at People's Park. I then examine the role that public space plays in modern democracies, and how ideas about public space have developed dialectically with definitions of who counts as "the public." In American democracy, "the public" is constituted by private individuals. In this paper, I suggest that the presence of homeless people in public spaces raises important contradictions at the heart of this definition of "the public." Many commentators suggest that these contradictions have led to "the end of public space" in contemporary cities, or at the very least, the removal of its political functions to the "space" of electronic communication. I examine what this move means for democratic action in the city and show that material public spaces remain a necessity for (particularly) oppositional political movements. This returns us to People's Park, as these were precisely the issues that structured the riots in 1991. I conclude the paper with a sketch of where People's Park and the issues raised by the riots now stand.
Sociological Methods & Research (2018)
Since the early 2000s, the proliferation of cameras, whether in mobile phones or CCTV, led to a sharp increase in visual recordings of human behavior. This vast pool of data enables new approaches to analyzing situational dynamics. Application is both qualitative and quantitative and ranges widely in fields such as sociology, psychology, criminology, and education. Despite the potential and numerous applications of this approach, a consolidated methodological frame does not exist. This article draws on various fields of study to outline such a frame, what we call video data analysis (VDA). We discuss VDA’s research agenda, methodological forebears, and applications, introduce an analytic tool kit, and discuss criteria for validity. We aim to establish VDA as a methodological frame and an interdisciplinary analytic approach, thereby enhancing efficiency and comparability of studies, and communication among disciplines that employ VDA. This article can serve as a point of reference for current and future practitioners, reviewers, and interested readers.
American Ethnologist (2012)
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 within the movements for global justice of the 1990s–2000s, I argue that social media have contributed to an emerging logic of aggregation in the more recent #Occupy movements—one that involves the assembling of masses of individuals from diverse backgrounds within physical spaces.
However, the recent shift toward more decentralized forms of organizing and networking may help to ensure the sustainability of the #Occupy movements in a post eviction phase.
New media & society (2018)
In this article, I challenge a focus in digital anthropology on the integration of media into everyday life. Korean queer men’s experience on geosocial applications suggests that integration is not a neutral methodology but is rather a locally negotiated concern, a management of the connection between spaces. I use the example of the sauna to illustrate that the urban structure of Seoul is frequently orientated around semi-public rooms or bang that are imagined as insulated from the rest of society. The rise of geosocial cruising applications, with their tendency to connect and unite arenas that should be kept apart, have resulted in anxiety over the exposure of men to an uncontrollable totality of social relations.
New media & society (2005)
Cellphones provide a unique opportunity to examine how new media both reflect and affect the social world. This study suggests that people map their understanding of common social rules and dilemmas onto new technologies. Over time, these interactions create and reflect a new social landscape. Based upon a year-long observational field study and in-depth interviews, this article examines cellphone usage from two main perspectives: how social norms of interaction in public spaces change and remain the same; and how cellphones become markers for social relations and reflect tacit pre-existing power relations. Informed by Goffman's concept of cross talk and Hopper's caller hegemony, the article analyzes the modifications, innovations and violations of cellphone usage on tacit codes of social interactions.