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Digital and networked by default?: women's organizations and the social imaginary of networked feminism

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Digital and networked by default? women's organizations and the social imaginary of networked feminism. / Fotopoulou, Aristea.

In: New Media and Society, Vol. 18, No. 6, 06.2016, p. 989-1005.

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@article{84d79d4490d249c386768a315bd28807,
title = "Digital and networked by default?: women's organizations and the social imaginary of networked feminism",
abstract = "This article analyses the social imaginary of {\textquoteleft}networked feminism{\textquoteright} as an ideological construct of legitimate political engagement, drawing on ethnographic study conducted with London-based women{\textquoteright}s organisations. For many women{\textquoteright}s groups, the desire to connect echoes libertarian visions of Web 2.0 as an {\textquoteleft}open{\textquoteright} and {\textquoteleft}shared{\textquoteright} space, and it is encouraged by widely circulating governmental narratives of digital inclusion. In the context of public services becoming digital by default, and severe funding cuts to volunteer organisations in the United Kingdom, feminist organisations are invited to revise the allocation of resources, in order to best accommodate the setting up of digital platforms, and at the same time, to maintain their political and social aims. It is argued that there are tensions between the imaginaries of a {\textquoteleft}digital sisterhood{\textquoteright} and the material realities of women{\textquoteright}s organisations: age, lack of resources and media literacy were found to be the three most important factors that modulate participation, and in many cases become new types of exclusions of access to publicity and recognition. By interrogating the circulation of dominant liberal narratives of digital engagement and digital inclusion that motivate new communicative practices between many feminist organisations today, the article offers a fuller understanding of networked media and activism for social justice. ",
keywords = "Social imaginary, connectivity, digital sisterhood, networked feminism, political engagement",
author = "Aristea Fotopoulou",
year = "2016",
month = jun,
doi = "10.1177/1461444814552264",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "989--1005",
journal = "New Media and Society",
issn = "1461-4448",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "6",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Digital and networked by default?

T2 - women's organizations and the social imaginary of networked feminism

AU - Fotopoulou, Aristea

PY - 2016/6

Y1 - 2016/6

N2 - This article analyses the social imaginary of ‘networked feminism’ as an ideological construct of legitimate political engagement, drawing on ethnographic study conducted with London-based women’s organisations. For many women’s groups, the desire to connect echoes libertarian visions of Web 2.0 as an ‘open’ and ‘shared’ space, and it is encouraged by widely circulating governmental narratives of digital inclusion. In the context of public services becoming digital by default, and severe funding cuts to volunteer organisations in the United Kingdom, feminist organisations are invited to revise the allocation of resources, in order to best accommodate the setting up of digital platforms, and at the same time, to maintain their political and social aims. It is argued that there are tensions between the imaginaries of a ‘digital sisterhood’ and the material realities of women’s organisations: age, lack of resources and media literacy were found to be the three most important factors that modulate participation, and in many cases become new types of exclusions of access to publicity and recognition. By interrogating the circulation of dominant liberal narratives of digital engagement and digital inclusion that motivate new communicative practices between many feminist organisations today, the article offers a fuller understanding of networked media and activism for social justice.

AB - This article analyses the social imaginary of ‘networked feminism’ as an ideological construct of legitimate political engagement, drawing on ethnographic study conducted with London-based women’s organisations. For many women’s groups, the desire to connect echoes libertarian visions of Web 2.0 as an ‘open’ and ‘shared’ space, and it is encouraged by widely circulating governmental narratives of digital inclusion. In the context of public services becoming digital by default, and severe funding cuts to volunteer organisations in the United Kingdom, feminist organisations are invited to revise the allocation of resources, in order to best accommodate the setting up of digital platforms, and at the same time, to maintain their political and social aims. It is argued that there are tensions between the imaginaries of a ‘digital sisterhood’ and the material realities of women’s organisations: age, lack of resources and media literacy were found to be the three most important factors that modulate participation, and in many cases become new types of exclusions of access to publicity and recognition. By interrogating the circulation of dominant liberal narratives of digital engagement and digital inclusion that motivate new communicative practices between many feminist organisations today, the article offers a fuller understanding of networked media and activism for social justice.

KW - Social imaginary

KW - connectivity

KW - digital sisterhood

KW - networked feminism

KW - political engagement

U2 - 10.1177/1461444814552264

DO - 10.1177/1461444814552264

M3 - Journal article

VL - 18

SP - 989

EP - 1005

JO - New Media and Society

JF - New Media and Society

SN - 1461-4448

IS - 6

ER -