Constructing Public Space| New “Danger Zone” in Europe: Representations of Place in Social Media–Supported Protests

Cornelia Brantner, Joan Ramon Rodriguez-Amat


Social media–supported protests build circuits of collective interaction that grow across physical, material, digital, and virtual spaces. Extending the research on the governance of communicative spaces, we ask whether representations of place define the public space and whether their analysis suffices to grasp the powerful processes embedded within that space. Consequently, we analyze the available representations of place in the Twitter communication about the protests against the Akademikerball, which is a ball organized by the right-wing populist party, the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), in Vienna, Austria. The analysis shows multiple forms of representation, but further consideration of its limitations takes into account three other key features of the public space. Together with an examination of representations, the analysis of textures, structures, and connections inform four modes of analysis that ought to be explored simultaneously to comprehensively understand the governance of the communicative space that is occupied in social media–supported protests.


public space, protest, communicative space, Twitter, social media, activist communication, representations

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