Protest Participation Experiences and Media Uses in Urban Protests: A Conceptualization and Empirical Examination

Yeji Kwon, Yong-Chan Kim, Euikyung Shin, Ahra Cho, Jee Hyun Kim


The current study investigates multiple dimensions of individual participants’ protest participation experiences (PPEs) and identifies different clusters involved in candlelight protests in South Korea. An online survey was conducted with 225 participants who attended at least one of the candlelight protests demanding President Park’s impeachment that were held in South Korea over a span of 27 weeks in 2016 and 2017. We found that protest participants’ experiences could be classified into five categories: independent, entertaining, reflective, solidary, and distributive. Based on these five PPEs, we identified three clusters of participant groups in the candlelight protests: carnivalesque, consumerist, and autonomous/critical. The three groups were different not only in terms of their PPEs but also their media use patterns and sociodemographic characteristics.


political participation, networked public, protest participation experiences, media use, candlelight vigil, Korea

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