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The yellow vests and the communicative constitution of a protest movement

Abstract : Contemporary protest movements are skeptical of mainstream media outlets, and so to communicate, they make extensive use of social media such as YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. Most research to date has considered how protest movements, as preexistent entities, use such social media to communicate with stakeholders, but little, if any research, has considered how a protest movement is constituted in and through communication. Using the Montreal School’s ventriloquial approach to communication and using YouTube video footage of the gilets jaunes – a contemporary French protest movement – in action, the purpose of this article is to explicate how a protest movement that resists the state’s authority is constituted in and through a textual artifact (a video clip on YouTube). Findings indicate that the protest movement is not only discursively constructed through the commentary that accompanies the video, but it is also constituted by non-human actants such as space, buildings and clothing. The protest movement mobilizes networks of human and non-human actants that invoke a moral authority that resists legally authorized state-sponsored networks which are also made up of human and non-human actants.
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Soumis le : mardi 7 juillet 2020 - 22:14:26
Dernière modification le : vendredi 11 décembre 2020 - 18:24:04




Jonathan Clifton, Patrice de la Broise. The yellow vests and the communicative constitution of a protest movement. Discourse and Communication, SAGE Publications, 2020, 14 (4), pp.362-382. ⟨10.1177/1750481320910516⟩. ⟨hal-02892977⟩



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