Dan Mercea on Social Media and Protest Today

We are thrilled to welcome Dan Mercea who will be presenting during this week’s JOMEC Research Seminar.

Dan will be presenting at 4 pm in Room 0.05, Bute Building. The title and abstract below.

The Knowledge of Protest: An Assessment of Topical Social Media Usage in Contentious Politics

In this talk, I present research that leverages social media and survey data to probe the scope and depth of political knowledge possessed by participants in the Romanian 2017 #rezist protests. For several months, demonstrators gathered in town squares around the country to oppose a project law intended to water down penalties for corruption in high office. Against the backdrop of well-founded scepticism regarding exposure to and engagement with political knowledge on social media, I scrutinize the social media usage of protestors with an interest in the formulation and circulation of political knowledge. I offer evidence of applied political knowledge as a prominent component of public activist communication on Facebook. Further examination of network structure nonetheless reveals bottlenecks in the circulation and brokerage of knowledge, a result that helps qualify the aforementioned scepticism.

Dan Mercea is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at City, University of London. He is the author of Civic Participation in Contentious Politics: The Digital Foreshadowing of Protest (Palgrave, 2016).

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