New Media and Civil Society | DIM 105

Instructors: Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou & Christos Fragkonikolopoulos

Course Description

The course examines the relationship and interaction between new media and civil society under the lens of social movement theory as well as the practice of participatory and citizen journalism. It aims to explore the different approaches to the study of civil society expressions with the use of new media in the organization, mobilization and coordination of contemporary public sphere. Students will become familiar with concepts such as social change, framing, collective identity, structure and characteristics of social movements, citizen journalism, alternative and participatory media. The course will also examine the methods and tools for the study and analysis of social media in combination to the developments in theory and research of social media.


Course Objectives

  • Understanding of the relations between civil society and various media systems.
  • Application of theoretical and methodological tools in the analysis of specific social movements and citizen journalism practices.
  • Understanding of the differences and particularities of “new” and “traditional” social movements.
  • Understanding of the impact of social media on the flow of information and communication, framing and formation of the news agenda.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Understanding of the main theories for the study of social movements and citizen journalism.
  2. Awareness and critical understanding of the changes introduced by new and social media in the functioning and development of civil society expressions worldwide.
  3. Development of typology for contemporary social movements and citizen journalistic practices.


Class/Learning activities

Lectures, workshops, group work/role plays, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments.



Type of work Description Hours
Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39
Group work/role plays Organization and coordination of group work 20-25
Independent study Study of compulsory and optional literature 40-45
Research Online research 35-40
Written assignments-Presentations Written assignments

  1. five short assignments (500-800 words)
  2. essay (1.500-2.000 words)
  3. in-class presetations
Total workload 254-289



Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment
Participation in group work and discussion 1-2 20% Regularly
Presentation of written assignment 1-2 20% 8th-12th week
Written assignments (short) 3-4 30% 5th-8th week
Written assignment (essay) 1-4 30% 12th week


Required Reading

Allagui, I. & Kuebler, J. (2011). The Arab Spring and the Role of ICTs, International Journal of Communication 5, 1435-1442.

Atton, C. (2002). Alternative Media. London: Sage.

Atton, C. (2003). What is ‘Alternative’ Journalism?. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, 4 (3), 267-272.

Barkai, M. (2012). REVOLUTION: SHARE! The Role of Social Media in Pro-Democratic Movements..European Journalism Centre, http://goo.gl/Q6T2gu.

Castells, M. (2012). Networks of Outrage and Hope. Social Movements in the Internet Age. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Coyer, K., Dowmunt, T. & Fountain, A. (2007). The Alternative Media Handbook. UK: Routledge.

Della Porta, D. & Diani (2006). Social Movements: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.

Ellison N, Lampe C, Steinfield C, & Vitak, J (2010). With a little help from my friends: how social network sites affect social capital processes. In Papacharissi, Z (Ed.). The networked self: identity, community, and culture on social network sites. Routledge: New York, 124-145.

Klandermans, B. & Staggenborg, S. (2002). Methods of Social Movement Research. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Papa, V. & Milioni, D.L. (2013). Active Citizenship or Activist Citizenship? A Framework for Studying Citizenship in New Social Movements and the Role of ICTs. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN 6(3), 21-37.

Papacharissi Z. (2010). The Virtual Sphere 2.0: The Internet, the Public Sphere and beyond. In Chadwick, A. & Howard, P. (Eds). Handbook of Internet Politics.

Papacharissi Z. & de Fatima Oliveira, M. (2012). Affective News and Networked Publics: The Rhythms of News Storytelling on #Egypt. Journal of Communication, 1-16.

Ramirez, R. (2005). Exploring Civic Journalism, A training manual for journalists and journalism trainers. Maastricht-The Netherlands: European Journalism Center.

Singer, J.B., Hermida, A., Domingo, D., Heinonen, A., Paulussen, S., Quandt, T., Reich, Z., Vujnovic, M. (2011). Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Turner, E. (2013). New Movements, Digital Revolution, and Social Movement, Theory. Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 25 (3), 376-383.

Vamvakas, V. & Dimitrakopoulou, D. (forthcoming). The online media ‘factor’ in the intermedia agenda-setting: The case of the Greek Indignant Citizens Movement. In Dee, J.  (Ed.) From Tahrir Square to Gezi Park: Social Networks as Facilitators of Social Movements. Oxford: Peter Lang.

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