Virtual protest with tangible effects? An analysis of media strategies in the 2007 Pakistani anti-Emergency movement

Bolognani, Marta (2010) Virtual protest with tangible effects? An analysis of media strategies in the 2007 Pakistani anti-Emergency movement. Contemporary South Asia, 18 (4). pp. 401-412. ISSN 0958-4935

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On 3rd November 2007 General Parvez Musharraf imposed a State of Emergency on Pakistan. During the State of Emergency the judiciary was turned upside down, the media selectively censored and many lawyers and human rights activists were arrested. While the lower classes remained relatively silent and carried on with their daily routines, an unprecedented movement against Musharraf, but more so pro-democracy and pro-judiciary, swept the country. This paper analyses the interrelation between the political concerns of a specific (upper-middle class) class subculture, the extraordinary means of communication available to them and the development of the protest. The paper argues that the way in which the protest was organised and negotiated was profoundly rooted in class divisions affecting consumption and production in the field of new media, and that where convergence between new and old media occurred, this was not enough to significantly involve other classes. The paper concludes by highlighting how meta-mediatic outputs and productions aimed primarily at a foreign audience nevertheless had an important role in changing the nature of the Pakistani public sphere, although it confutes theories that new media can produce social change at a great speed. The data was collected through participant observation, monitoring of internet blogs and videos, collection of articles in the English press, and interviews with prominent figures in the protest.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions > GN492 Political organisation. Political anthropology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
Depositing User: Marta Bolognani
Date Deposited: 01 May 2012 10:57
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2012 13:57
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