Cultural Artifacts in the Mexican Social Movement Sector: The Artifactualization of Performances and the Performativity of Artifacts in a Digital Age

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 12:45 PM
Room: F206
Oral Presentation
Hank JOHNSTON , Sociology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Where residues of a less democratic past persist, as is the case in Mexico and several other Latin American states, challenges to the state often take more subtle and creative forms, which means that cultural insights to mobilization processes can be especially instructive.  Drawing on several mobilization sites and moments from contemporary Mexican social movement sector the paper aims at exploring whether the tools of cultural analysis—performances, ideations and especially cultural artifacts—are used in the production of oppositional meanings and whether the unfolding events and actions around them can become central to the identity and to the genesis of social movements. The social construction of these cultural artifacts, their social embeddedness, and the diverse ways that audiences respond to them, mean that artifacts themselves can play key roles in mobilization trajectories, as social actors encounter them, appropriate them, discuss them, modify them, and mobilize around them. By focusing on the artifactualization of performances through digital technologies and vice versa on how artifacts can take on qualities of performances by being digitized and posted on a facebook page or blog, the paper also explores whether online social media have transformed the cultural analysis of performances and artifacts