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Protests in Brazil: Mobile Networks and Devices as Tools of Protest


ISBN: 978-1-78635-786-1, eISBN: 978-1-78635-785-4

Publication date: 30 May 2017


This chapter aims to investigate the uses and appropriations of mobile digital technologies and networks through an examination of their popular manifestations in Brazil. We take a phenomenologically informed hermeneutics approach to understand the nature of social interactions vis-à-vis mobile digital technologies in daily life. The multimodal strategy explores based on documents and quantitative data published by Brazilian research institutes and the press. In addition, using an autoethnographic approach, the authors’ direct observations also provide a contextual framework. Findings suggest that mobile devices and networks were employed as protest tools for individuals and social groups. This finding suggests the emergence of new forms of social organizations and the appropriation of mobile technology as a tool for citizen empowerment and cyber-activism that takes place both in virtual and physical environments in Brazil. These appropriations had direct implications for political protests and changed how they have been organized in Brazil since then. Mobile technologies have enhanced and multiplied possibilities for social interaction, information sharing, and media broadcasting, allowing for the questioning of traditional media and the content provided by them. This research provides a foundation for future analysis about the appropriation of digital technologies specifically related to their use as civic media that is applicable beyond Brazil, given that these technologies are spread in different contexts and countries.



Reis, B.M.S., Furini, L.G. and Henriques, S.M.G. (2017), "Protests in Brazil: Mobile Networks and Devices as Tools of Protest", Brazil (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 13), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 215-229.



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