Why Participate? The Impact of Media on Collective Actions
The overarching aim of this research is to investigate how media-related factors affect the decision to participate in communication activities (mediatized collective actions). Recently, a great number of collective actors worldwide have been deploying media as (constitutive) instruments within their socio-political struggles. Consequently, for the past 50 years, there has been an increase of studies related to these phenomena. The academic interest in participatory media can be divided into two main trends: 1) descriptive accounts of empirical cases, and 2) debates polarizing their socio-political possibilities and limitations. However, few efforts have been made to develop in-depth investigations of the processes that construct these media. The current project is an attempt to explore this gap. In this research, participatory communication will be conceived as consciousness-building based on participation and social dialogue. In this communication circuit, the moments of management, production and reception can be approached through their interrelations. The focus of this study will be on how the close relations between management, production and (participant and non-participant) reception affect the levels of participation in a constant media environment. The main questions are 1) How participatory is participatory communication? and2) How does the constant exposure to media impact people’s engagement in collective actions? The empirical data will be collected in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a city that has a long tradition and wide variety of participatory media actions for social change.