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A digital agonistic space for democracy?

Open Panel

Abstract

New mediating practices involve considerable occurrences of participation of ‘ordinary people’, their activities and discourses, in political life. Thus, the very domain of mediated communication includes practices and processes that are realized across the nooks and crannies of civil society, along different public spheres, enriched by the intersection of offline and online environments on multiple scales. From a radical understanding of new mediating practices noteworthy challenges and questions are (re)addressed. Challenges: •diverse instances of self-expression occur discursively, echoing (re)negotiations of social identities, codes and relationships •various social groups register symbolically their struggles and discourses in the public sphere •new mediating practices are prolific conveyors of ‘quotidian politics’; the line demarcating the political and non-political becomes blurry •‘difference’ versus ‘unity’ as the ground for the realization of citizenry Questions: •Do new mediating practices leave room for “mutual recognition”? •To what extent do they envisage a broader societal dialogue across the full spectrum of adversarial interpretations and cultural practices? •What are the ways in which social actors find themselves in online environment while at the same time try to mould it according to their own culture? •Could less deliberative modes of engagement in mediating practices – hobbies and features of play in general – be included in the evaluation of democratic citizenship? Reflecting on new mediating practices critical issues are raised about people’s engagement in a pluralistic society, for “being a citizen and doing democracy”, figuring out thus another agonistic space for the realization of democracy.