Alternative media and social movements in Latin-American context
The present research aims to focus on the different uses of media and communication tools within social movements in the Brazilian society.
Using a media sociological perspective to investigate a social movement allows a deepening of several aspects of its heterogenous identity like peculiarity of self-representation, collective narrative forms and sense of community that arises in joining the same ideas and expressing them in public.
Communication practices and media discourses are studied like alternative voices from the mainstream media and politics. The increasing importance of media production in the globalization era is strictly tied to the political dimension and with the creation of symbols and imaginaries.
In the Latin-American context social movements build up not only to claim their rights, but they present a global overview on society and its structure, and they fight for an alternative development model from the neolibealistic and market-oriented one which dominated their history till the last century.
As media features are embedded in the economic and political conditions of a specific geographic area, it’s important to recover part of the history of these practices to analyse the relationship of social movements with the civil society, with the institutional processes and, on the other hand, to understand the performative dimension of political ideas and democracy empowerment like horizontal decision-making, direct participation, and counter-hegemonic discourses challenging relations of authority and control.
This case study will be a social group organization with a solid tradition and a complex structure like the housing movement in the Brazilian city of São Paulo.
The theorical approach finds a proper methodological frame on the visual sociology, whose techniques and codes based on images are at the same time a relevant key to access the imaginary dimension made of narrative ideologies, communication choices, self-representation and power dynamics.