Humanitas Visiting Professor in Media 2011: Manuel Castells
The Humanitas Chair in Media has been made possible by the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation
Lecture 2: Social Movements in the Internet Age (1)
Social movements and political insurgency in our time are largely based on the capacity to construct communicative autonomy by the use of mass self-communication, namely the Internet and wireless communication. To be sure, the sources of social mobilization are in the situation of oppression, exploitation, humiliation, and powerlessness that people suffer around the world. However, the capacity to overcome repression and incommunication depends on the ability to seize the opportunity of the spark of indignation against an intolerable act from the powers that be to connect with other minds over the networks, and from there to come together in the urban space forming a rebellious community of practice. The process of formation of these networked social movements is analyzed and illustrated by a brief, yet documented empirical analysis of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011.