Wrong turns towards revolution? Grassroots media and political participation in Italy (1967-2012)

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Te article presents a socio-historical analysis of the connections between media and participation in the political realm in Italy from the sixties, when social and political protests interrupted the pedagogical relationship between public (radio and TV), or commercial (newspapers) media and their audiences. In particular, the article focuses on three different phenomena in two phases: first, the social appropriation of cinema and the birth of the free radio stations during the historical period of the “Contestazione” (protest: from the late sixties to the late seventies); second the development of the blogosphere and social media and their relationship with political engagement during the last 10 years. Te examples demonstrate different forms of media appropriation related to different forms of participation. By the term appropriation, the author refers to the choice by collective parties to learn the communicative, organizational behavior and business of one or more media, in order to participate in social and political life. In the years of the contestazione, in Italy, the practice of appropriation covered two traditional media: cinema and radio. Both, as we have seen, were put to the service of new expressive and participative needs related to politics. They became a place of socialization for a generation of young people (the baby boomers), highly educated and keen on change and modernization. In the years after 2000, we still have forms of explicit political appropriation, for which, the web is central for participation and also for the building of new forms of representation in Beppe Grillo’s movement/party. In these forms the means of appropriation are different, because of the particular nature of social media, the different cultures and goals of the new generations using social media and for the new social and political framework.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)55-78
Numero di pagine24
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014


  • Italian media
  • media appropriation
  • media social history
  • political participation


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