The uses of Twitter in the construction and maintenance of Occupy Gezi’s collective identity (2021)
This empirical research investigates the uses of Twitter and long-term communication practices in the construction process of Occupy Gezi’s collective identity since the eruption of the Gezi protests until the constitutional referendum campaign in 2017. This article emphasises the latent phase of the movement, by combining Melucci’s processual and dynamic approach to collective identity with a practice-oriented ecological perspective to the media/movements studies. Based on in-depth interviews and the analysis of the common Twitter followings among the interviewees, this article provides empirical insights into the use of Twitter in the collective identity construction process through analysing its three main elements: (1) the identification of we and them, (2) development of informal networks and (3) expression and negotiation of collective identity. Extending the existing body of literature, which focus on instantaneous uses and short-term instances, it complements the research on the nexus of collective identity and social media, by focusing on the daily practices, motivations and experiences of the activists on Twitter in interaction with evolving media ecology and other actors in its local context. This study indicates the uses of Twitter and new communicative practices in the latent phase for the continuity of Occupy Gezi, in which they maintained, promoted and negotiated collective identity. Thus, they could still keep and pass the movement’s repertoire, values, language and resistance culture to successors, even in the direct antagonistic confrontation of the authorities.
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Karatas, D. (2021): The uses of Twitter in the construction and maintenance of Occupy Gezi’s collective identity, Information, Communication & Society, DOI:10.1080/1369118X.2021.2011946