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Lecture | CADS Digital Diverse Worlds Seminar

Roots, Routes, Routers: Communications and Media of Contemporary Social Movements

  • Merlyna Lim
Thursday 6 December 2018
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

Roots, Routes, Routers: Communications and Media of Contemporary Social Movements

In this talk, Merlyna Lim uses the metaphors of roots, routes, and routers to explore how communications and media are embedded in the making and development of contemporary social movements. The first part, "roots", sketches out a broad context for analyzing contemporary social movements’ communications and media by tracing the varied, intertwined, and multifaceted roots of the wave of global protests since 2010. Here Lim notes that large-scale protests, including those unraveled in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, are enabled by complex structural factors that reflect long-term conditions, but are driven by short-term causes that stipulate immediate milieus immediate triggers are usually local. Using empirical data from Tunisia, Egypt, Malaysia and Hong Kong, the second part, "routes", maps out the routes of social movements, and identifies key mechanisms occurring at various junctures of movements’ life cycles, including dis/connecting, brokering, bridging, hybridizing, in/visibility, intermodality, connectivity and globalizing. The third part, "routers" explores roles of fixed and mobile, traditional and contemporary, digital and analog, permanent and temporal routers in the making and development of social movements. Here Lim emphasizes the importance of connectivity in social movements: routers make connections in social movements among various social networks by forwarding messages, narratives, and symbols of resistance.

About Merlyn Lim

Merlyna Lim is a Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and Global Network Society with the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. An ALiGN Media Lab founder/director and Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Merlyna Lim’s research interests revolve around the mutual shaping of technology and society, and political culture of technology, especially digital media and information technology, in relation to issues of justice, democracy, and civic/participatory engagement.


If you plan to attend send an email to Bart Barendregt as there is limited room capacity

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