Responding to the Greek Crisis: Social Media, Horizontal Organization and Networks, then and Now

Monday, July 14, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: 411
Oral Presentation
Marina PRENTOULIS , Political, Social and International Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
The use of social media during the first wave of protests responding to the crisis and the lending agreements in Greece, enabled the emergence of a new political discourse. The main website of the Greek ‘Aganaktismenoi’ (Indignants) was anchored around the concepts of horizontality, autonomy and leaderless (www.real-democracy.gr). The analysis of the website reveals an attempt to divide the political field in pro and anti memorandum forces and expresses the widely felt hostility and suspicion towards the existing forms of democratic representation (Prentoulis and Thomassen, 2013). Although the lack of coherence and permanency of this movement points towards processes of identification (as failed attempts) rather than new forms of collective identity, this paper is concerned with the influence of the ideological and organizational elements emerging from the use of social media during the protests and their displacement on a variety of socio-political sites: First, the ideological and organizational influence of social media for the creation of Solidarity Networks. Second, the use of social media by the radical left coalition Syriza, which is currently the opposition party in Greece.