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The mediated crowd: new social media and new forms of rioting

The mediated crowd: new social media and new forms of rioting

Baker, Stephanie Alice (2011) The mediated crowd: new social media and new forms of rioting. Sociological Research Online, 16 (4). ISSN 1360-7804 (online) (doi:

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Commentary on the recent riots largely reflects ideological differences with political discourse reviving traditional debates of social inequality and moral decline. While the 2011 riots resemble former incidents of rioting in twentieth-century Britain, it is argued that the recent unrest was significantly enhanced by the development of new social media, requiring new understandings of mediated crowd membership in the twenty-first century. I introduce and outline a model of the 'mediated crowd' commencing with the impact of new social media, and develop this paradigm in conjunction with emotions research, to account for the
emotional dimensions of collective action, and the social and political effects these technological developments have on contemporary forms of rioting. Here, it is argued that attempts to understand the causes of the recent riots must recognise that while social media contributed to the speed and scope of the unrest, emotions play a crucial role in motivating and sustaining collective action as the structures of feeling that intersect geographic and virtual public space. This innovative approach provides insight into the particular conditions in which the English riots emerged, while demonstrating how social media contributes
more broadly to new forms of collectivity in the media age.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: emotions, English riots (2011), Mark Duggan, 'mediated crowd', new social media, social networking
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Social, Political & Cultural Studies
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:18

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