23.6 Seeking for social change, struggling for culture: Collaborative creation as political action and moral orders in the case of free culture movement

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 12:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Distributed Paper
Elisenda ARDÈVOL , Digital Culture, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Barcelona, Spain
Débora LANZENI , Digital Culture, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Barcelona, Spain
Based on an ongoing ethnographic experience among Free Culture Movement’s activists we propose, building on Luc Bolstanski's notion of test and moral justification (2006) and Benkler (2007) conceptualization of social production in the context of a networked information economy, to challenge the category of “social movement” to be useful to understand all the complex spectrum of current collective political action.

Free Culture Movement claims that the development of participatory model of cultural production is in danger, since its basic conditions of popular creation are being constrained by intellectual property laws, market regulations on cultural production and revile of values such refuse and share. The battle for the future is taking part now (Lessig, 2005).

In their forward for social change, political action is understood through their own practices of collaborative creation and the commons as their principal value (economic and moral). They do not see themselves as “militants” or even as “activists” (although some participate in movements like the 15M)  because they move on horizontal network structures of sharing that opposite the classic conception of social movement as which links together structural organization, collective identity and political goals.

This case study, situated mainly in Spain, offers an example of new forms of mobilization that question the current frameworks of  “social movement”, an de-centre the focus of analysis from the organized “political action” to the everyday practices that entails to look at materiality, space, sociality and expectations of future.

Boltanski, L. Thevenot, L. (2006) On Justification: Economies of Worth. Princeton University Press

Benkler, Y. (2007). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. Yale University Press.

Lessig, L. (20005) Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity. Penguin