Manuel Castells. In Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age, sociologist Manuel Castells aims to conceptualise their relation with the Internet, or what he defines as the networked social movement. Author of other famous net-optimistic titles such as The Rise of The Network Society , Castells preaches of a world in which the Internet not only centralises our communicational routines, but also liberates individuals to shape a new autonomy, to reclaim power and to shake the political scene, leading to social change. This second edition incorporates recent cases from Brazil, Turkey, Chile and Mexico, before then reintroducing the thesis. The networked social movement appears now as an extended and successful idea, having migrated from screens and streets to a more direct engagement with institutionalised power. Castells firmly believes that Occupy should be read beyond momentum, with its counterparts spreading across very different countries and contexts.
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Polity Press, , sets the tone of the entire work:. In a world darkened by economic distress, political cynicism, cultural emptiness and personal hopelessness, it just happened. Suddenly dictatorship could be overthrown with the bare hands of the people, even if their hands had been bloodied by the sacrifice of those fallen.
Financial magicians went from being the objects of public envy to the targets of universal contempt. Politicians became exposed as corrupt liars. Governments were denounced. Media were suspected. Trust vanished…[…. Castells explores the variety and cultural diversity of these uprisings in an ambitious project. For those who have missed the actual unravelling of these events, and for those who do not have a clear picture of what happened across the world in , this is a timely and important book, as it provides a fresh and well written account of the key events affecting the different movements, as well as some important information on their cultural diversity and context specific struggles.
In mapping the activities and practices of the different movements, the book addresses two fundamentals: What triggered the mass mobilisations across the world? How can we make sense of these new forms of political participation and action? According to Castells, the answer is simple: these movements began on the Internet social networks and spread by contagion in a world of wireless communication, mobile media and the viral exchange of images and content. He strongly believes that Internet networks have become the material support of a new type of political participation, a participation that is based on horizontal networks, on political autonomy, leaderless organisation, and groundless solidarity.
His claims are powerful, his prose captivating and the examples he uses are fascinating. Yet the reader is left to question whether the examples discussed really support his assumptions on the role of the Internet in the mobilisation of political action and on the creation of new forms of political participation. What emerges from his account is that Internet technologies played a role in the rapid mobilsation of people and coordination of action.
Yet his data and examples used also suggest that, as many social movement scholars have pointed out, the relationship between social movements and new technologies is a matter of constant negotiation and is defined by a complex dialectics between transformation and continuity, between the technical and the social, and between old and new political repertoires of political action and media activism.
This is partly due to the fact that within his book Castells refuses to engage with key theoretical debates on social movements and new media technologies. These transformations are having a strong impact on the lived experience of political activism with often negative consequences on processes of political transformation and social change.
This techno-determinism, as mentioned above, is not only present at the theoretical level, but also at the empirical level. Yet the reader is left to question where the evidence of his claims is. In actual fact, throughout the book Castells oversimplifies the emotional complexities of the movements studied and contends that within all the countries discussed the Internet has enabled the sharing of two forms of feelings, outrage and hope, which have played a pivotal role in triggering mass uprisings.
Whilst it is undeniable that the movements of were triggered by a strong emotional and subjective dimension, we must be aware of the fact that they had also a strong material dimension.
Castells techno-determinism at both theoretical and methodological level reminds us that, at present, much work is needed to ensure that we reach a thorough and nuanced understanding of the complex relationship between Internet technologies and new forms of political participation. There is no doubt that these networked forms of communication have often become the material support of new types of political imagination and association Juris, , ; Barassi, It is only by looking at continuity that scholars can understand the complex and imaginative negotiations that enable activists to re-imagine social change in order to adapt to the techno-historical transformations of the last years.
A trained anthropologist; her research interests cover alternative media and social movements, anthropology of media, online ethnography, Web 2. Andrejevic, M. Wood 2 4 , Barassi V. Cammaerts et al. Castells, M. Couldry, N. Curran, J. Fenton N. New York: Routledge. Gerbaudo P. Mattoni A. Morozov, E. Orlikowski, W. Terranova, T. Before you download your free e-book, please consider donating to support open access publishing. E-IR is an independent non-profit publisher run by an all volunteer team.
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Book Review: Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age by Manuel Castells
Noelle Aarts, Castells, Manuel Networks of outrage and hope — social movements in the Internet age. This book attempts to shed light on social movements in the network society, on their formation, their dynamics, their values, and their prospects for social transformation. The aim of Manuel Castells is to identify and understand new paths of social change in our time and to stimulate a debate on the practical and ultimately political implications about it. Grounded on observation, some hypotheses about the nature and perspectives of networked social movements are gradually developed p. Recent efforts to realize change of different social movements are analyzed, based on the grounded theory of power that Castells presented in his former book, titled Communication Power
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Polity Press, , sets the tone of the entire work:. In a world darkened by economic distress, political cynicism, cultural emptiness and personal hopelessness, it just happened. Suddenly dictatorship could be overthrown with the bare hands of the people, even if their hands had been bloodied by the sacrifice of those fallen. Financial magicians went from being the objects of public envy to the targets of universal contempt. Politicians became exposed as corrupt liars. Governments were denounced.
Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age, 2nd Edition
You are currently using the site but have requested a page in the site. Would you like to change to the site? Manuel Castells. Challenging the failure of Italian parliamentary democracy from the inside: Beppe Grillo and his Five Stars Movement The streets, the Presidenta, and the would-be Presidenta: Popular protests and presidential elections in Brazil
This book is an exploration of the new forms of social movements and protests that are erupting in the world today, from the Arab uprisings to the indignadas movement in Spain, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US. While these and similar social movements differ in many important ways, there is one thing they share in common: they are all interwoven inextricably with the creation of autonomous communication networks supported by the Internet and wireless communication. Based on original fieldwork by the author and his collaborators as well as secondary sources, this book provides a path-breaking analysis of the new forms of social movements, and offers an analytical template for advancing the debates triggered by them concerning the new forms of social change and political democracy in the global network society. Manuel Castells.