Can Counter-Publics online change Power Relations in a Society?

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by Anna Antonakis on Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Session type

Technical level


I will give insights into current research and concepts in social and communication science to analyse possible impacts of networks created online around topics usually neglected in the classical media landscape. This may help to better understand ones own online activities and communicative power and positioning within it acroos class/race/gender lines.


After presenting some basic theoretical concepts and their history, such as “Counterpublics”, we will apply them by looking at recent feminist empowering discourses online in the last 3 years and ask for their visibilities and/or receptions in broader publics (classical media). By giving empirical examples, such as hashtags or creative campaigns to raise awarness, we want to see in how far these spaces can have a lasting impact on power relations in societies and marginalized information and discourses can “spill over” to classical media and political decision makers that would have to react to them.

Speaker bio

Anna is a political scientist, currently working on her PhD at the Free University in Berlin on the transformation of Public Spaces by Gender activists in post-revolutionnary Tunisia. She conducts an interdisciplinary research inspired by communication studies, intersectional theory and political science.