Alice Mattoni public lecture

Datafication in the daily life of grassroots politics: how activists include, manage and produce flows of data in their political work

When and where? September 5, 2019, 14-15, 3A54 @ ITU

What? How do activists cope with datafication in their daily political work? Which strategies do they develop to manage the flows of data that sustain their grassroots political engagement? And how do they do this in times of latency, when people are not in the streets? In this talk, I address these questions discussing how big data and the related web applications intertwine with other types of data and digital media in four pivotal practices related to activism in times of latency: the practice of coordinating the daily workflow of activists’ organizations; the practice of seeking information useful to sustain grassroots political engagement; the practice of gaining visibility for activists’ organizations; and the practice of sustaining connections with other actors relevant for activists and their political work. Drawing on a cross-country comparative research based on 85 in-depth interviews with media experts, journalists and political activists in Greece, Italy and Spain, I will show the different opportunities and challenges that the process of datafication implies for activists in Southern Europe.

Who? Alice Mattoni is Associate Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Bologna. She is the Principal Investigator of the research project BIT-ACT Bottom-up initiatives and anti-corruption technologies: how citizens use ICTs to fight corruption funded by the European Research Council, from 2019 to 2024. She has been a Research Fellow of the Centre on Social Movement Studies – COSMOS from 2013 to 2019 and Assistant Professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore from 2015 to 2019. In this capacity, she has also worked as the Principal Investigator of the research project PiCME – Political participation in Complex Media Environments: A Multi-Level and Multi-Method Approach funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research through the grant S.I.R. – Scientific Independence of young Researchers. Alice co-founded and co-directs the Routledge Book Series on Media and Communication Activism with Claudia Magallanes-Blanco and Charlotte Ryan. She is one of the editors Partecipazione e Conflitto – Participation and Conflict, an open-access and peer reviewed online publication.