Studies on the Gezi Events: Political Rhetoric, Communication Strategies, and Mass Mobilization

Politics is founded on language as a tool of narration, persuasion, and mobilization. In the present-day world, new techniques enable great differentiation of communication strategies and channels of mediation, one effect of which is greater rapidity and autonomy in the distribution of messages making it more difficult for authorities to control and monopolize the flow of information. Mass mobilization has become easier with the introduction of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

Given this new order of things, there are a number of questions to be considered, such as: How is this rapid flow of information received and assessed by the individual? How is journalism affected by the development of new communication strategies? What are the merits of this new order besides its capacity of mass mobilization? What is the depth and rhetoric force of rapidly communicated messages?

In May 2015, a workshop focusing on these questions was organized by the Stockholm-Istanbul Program for Central Asian and Turkic Studies, SIPCATS, in cooperation with Nordic partner institutions: Ørecomm – Centre for Communication and Glocal Change, Roskilde University, and Malmö University.

More specifically, our aim was to analyze the 2013 Gezi events in Turkey from the point of view of communication and media’s part in social mobilization. The papers presented at the workshop were later updated and edited for an anthology titled “In the Aftermath of Gezi: From Social Movement to Social Change”, now published by Palgrave.

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