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Protest logics and the mediation opportunity structure

Cammaerts, Bart ORCID: 0000-0002-9508-5128 (2012) Protest logics and the mediation opportunity structure. European Journal of Communication, 27 (2). pp. 117-134. ISSN 0267-3231

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0267323112441007


This article aims to bridge a gap between social movement studies and media and communication studies. A conceptual framework is presented that integrates the political opportunity structure approach and the logics of contentious action with the concept of mediation. The author argues that mediation opportunity structure is a fruitful concept to encompass a wide variety of ways in which media and communication are relevant to protest and social movements. It refers to mainstream media representations of protest and movements, to movements ‘becoming the media’ and counter-spinning, as well as to media and communication practices that constitute protest and resistance in their own right. The manifold articulations of mediation illustrate that media and communication are not merely relevant to the symbolic and discursive realms in which social movements operate, but that they are also instrumental and material to realizing their immediate goals. Activists are becoming more aware and conscious of the mediation opportunity structure, through their lay-knowledge of how the mainstream media and technologies operate, partially adapting to them or appropriating them. The nature and degree of mediation opportunities for activists and the structural constraints impeding the opportunities varies according to the type of protest logic that is being used.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2011 10:17
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 23:14

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