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Internet memes and a female “Arab Spring”: mobilising online for the criminalisation of domestic abuse in Hungary in 2012-13

Horvath, Gyorgyi (2021) Internet memes and a female “Arab Spring”: mobilising online for the criminalisation of domestic abuse in Hungary in 2012-13. Feminist Media Studies. pp. 1-17. ISSN 1468-0777

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14680777.2021.2010787


This paper analyses how social media and internet memes transformed public discourse on domestic abuse in Hungary during 2012–13, and how they have been used to mobilise protests and articulate a much wider social feeling against the issue than had previously been thought to exist. More closely, it discusses these anti-domestic abuse protests through Bennett and Segerberg’s connective action analytical framework, and studies internet memes as acts of personalised bottom-up political opinion-expressing that enabled netizens to connect to a feminist movement goal, that of standing up to domestic abuse, in flexible ways, which was important in a country that had traditionally been seen as sharing strong negative sentiments about feminism. It also argues that feminist digital mobilisation and large-scale meme circulation, both articulated primarily through Facebook and against the existing governmental discourse on domestic abuse, worked in tandem as bottom-up pressure on the government to introduce a new policy tool, a law, against domestic abuse. The paper also discusses the contribution of these protests to rebooting various stages of the legislation process of Hungary’s Law on Domestic Abuse, entering into force in July 2013.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2022 17:45
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2022 00:09

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