Abstract - The Information Society 25(2)

Subactivism: Lifeworld and Politics in the Age of the Internet

Maria Bakardjieva

The potential of the Internet to enhance civic participation has been examined in numerous theoretical and empirical studies. This paper concentrates specifically on the role the medium plays in affording and supporting new forms of making sense of public issues and getting involved in civic activities that evolve at the level of everyday life. Characteristically, these forms do not square neatly with elevated notions of political and civic participation. Their significance easily escapes recognition. Building on existing conceptualizations such as those of “life politics” (Giddens, 1991),“sub-politics” (Beck, 1997) and “the political” Mouffe (2005), and “democratic rationalization” (Feenberg, 1999) the concept of subactivism is proposed with the objective to expand received notions of what does and should count as civic engagement.


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