06 SES 14, The Rise of New Online Populism Among Young People in Europe: Is there Room for (Media)Education?
Over the last years, due to globalization and migration processes, populism and racism have known a new erain Europe rekindling traditional forms of discrimination through new means. New media platforms have been seen by populist organizations as a driver to promote hate speech and new forms of proselitism. Race, gender, disabilities and sexual orientation have been alternatively used to discriminate the 'other', and media have been used as sounding board. In this context, the European Project e-EAV (e-Engagement Against Violence, DAPHNE-programme 2012-2014) aimed at contrasting new online populism and discrimination by promoting young people awareness towards violent media contents and empowering them through civic engagement and digital literacy. The specific issues investigated can be summarized in the following questions:
Q1. How populism can be defined? What are the new forms of populism emerging through the web and how they are addressing young people in the European context?
Q2. How stereotypes about the ‘other’ are constructed through the use of digital media? What are the rhetoric and the communication strategies adopted by populist organizations to reach consensus, especially among young people?
Q3. How to deconstruct populist hate speech towards the 'other' and raise young people and minorities' awareness? How to promote children voice appropriation and participatory skills? Can media education play a role in the process of raising awareness against discrimination?
Literature on New Populism (see e.g., Mazzoleni et al. 2003; Caiani & Parenti, 2013; Caiani et al., 2012), studies on media and the Internet (see e.g. Jenkins et al., 2009; Livingstone et al., 2005; Selwyn, 2007; Smith, 2013), and research in the field of media education (see e.g., Banaji and Buckingham, 2013; Buckingham, 2007; Buckingham & Martínez-Rodríguez, 2013; Buckingham & Rodríguez-Hoyos, 2013; Hipfl & Hug, 2006) provided the theoretical background to investigate the questions mentioned above and design the research strategies and tools to explore them. More specifically, the research activity has been articulated in three main phases.
PHASE 1. STATE OF ART ON (ONLINE) POPULISM, MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION (Q1)
A literature review on the definition of (online) populism, particularly focusing on right-wing organizations, has been done considering. In addition, an analysis of the literature in the fields of media and citizenship education was carried out as well as an overview about the national projects developed on these issues. The results of the literature review provided the theoretical background for phases 2 and 3.
PHASE 2. ANALISYS OF POPULIST DISCOURSES SPREAD THROUGH THE WEB BY YOUTH POLITICS ORGANIZATIONS (Q2)
Once defined the theoretical background, two populist organizations for each partners countries were identified. Among the criteria adopted to identify the organizations, there were 1) focus on youth under age 25 with programs (including sport, education) addressing them; 2) aptitude to reproduce ‘Other’ in discriminatory way; 3) high presence in the digital environment.
After having identified the organizations, a number of online texts have been selected for qualitative analysis.
PHASE 3. DEVEMPOMENT AND TESTING OF MEDIA EDUCATION ACTIVITIES AGAINST DISCRIMINATION (Q3)
The analysis of the literature and of the online media discourses around ‘Other’ brought us to identify a number of issues that deserve the attention of the educational community, especially researchers and educators in the field of media education. Five media education modules against discrimination were developed with a focus on media analysis and production. Main topics were: Information reception and production, Audio-visual Fictions and Ideologies, Videogames and citizenship, Political Communication and Propaganda, Online Activism & Networking. As a general approach, each activity starts with mobilizing students’ previous knowledge on the topic, pursues with exercises based on inquiry, case study, collaborative learning,etc., and ends with debriefing and self-evaluation.
Banaji S. and Buckingham D. (2013). The Civic Web: Young People, the Internet and Civic Participation. MIT Press. Buckingham D. (2007). Beyond technology. Children’s learning in the age of digital culture. Cambridge: Polity Press. Buckingham D. & Martínez-Rodríguez JB. (2013), Interactive youth: New citizenship between social networks and school settings, Comunicar, 20(40), pp.10-13. Buckingham D. & Rodríguez-Hoyos C. (2013). Learning about power and citizenship in an online virtual world, Comunicar, 20(40), pp.49-57. Caiani M. and Parenti L. (2013), European and American Extreme Right Groups and the Internet. Farnham, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Caiani M., della Porta D. & Wagemann C. (2012). Mobilizing on the Extreme Right: Germany, Italy, and the United States. Oxford: Oxford University press. Eco U. (1995). Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt. New York Review of Books, 22 June 1995, 12-15. Hipfl B. & Hug T. (eds) (2006). Media Communities. New York: Waxmann. Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robinson, A. & Weigel, M. (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Chicago, IL: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Livingstone, S., Bober, B. & Helsper, E. J. (2005). Active participation or just more information? Young people’s take-up of opportunities to act and interact on the Internet. Information, Communication & Society, 8 (3), September, 287–231. Mazzoleni, G., J. Stewart, B. Horsfield, eds. (2003). The Media and Neo-Populism: A Contemporary Comparative Analysis. Westport: Praeger. Selwyn, N. (2007). Citizenship, technology and learning: A review of recent literature. Bristol, UK: Futurelab. Smith, A. (2013). Civic Engagement in the Digital Age. Pew Internet and American Life Project Report. Taggart, P. (2000). The Populism. Buckingham: Open University Press. Taguieff, P.A. (2002). L'illusion populist. Paris: Editions Berg International.
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