Slam Seminar

Otherness, securitization and network agency: digital micro-narratives within the wider macro-narrative of the war on terror

Sofia José Santos (CES/FEUC)

October 1, 2019, 17h00

Room 1, CES | Alta

Commentators:  Inês Amaral (FLUC/CECS-UMinho) and Cristiano Gianolla (CES)


Online social networks provide a space for first-hand narrative sharing, allowing subaltern groups to account for their own histories and trajectories, to express their own identities and political perspectives, and to overcome the invisibility and/or securitized otherness to which they are often relegated by dominant structures and narratives. If the production, validation and dissemination of narratives result from a discursive practice, these discourses are likewise accompanied by specific materialities which gives it form and delimits its political action and mobilizing power. Having as an implicit or explicit framework the macro-narrative of the "war on terrorism", the media representations in the European mediascape of migrants/refugees that have come to Europe since the Arab Spring have tended to be negative and often accompanied by disinformation practices. On the other hand, online social networks open space for the micro-narratives of migrants/refugees as they can express their voice and subjectivities without intermediaries. This presentation intends to critically analyze the counter-hegemonic potential of the digital agency of these subaltern groups, considering the materiality of the digital sphere (software and hardware) and the constitutive power of the macro-narrative of the "war on terrorism".

Bio notes

Sofia José Santos
is a researcher at the Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra where she leads the DeCodeM project as a Principal Investigator and is a researcher in the  DeOthering, EquiX and PARENT research projects. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Coimbra and has a degree in Advanced Studies in Communication Sciences from ISCTE-IUL, where she is currently pursuing a second PhD in the area of New Media, Social Networks and Technology.

Inês Amaral is Associate Professor at University of Coimbra. Researcher at CECS (UMinho). PhD in Communication Sciences - Interactive Media (UMinho). Research interests: audiences, social movements, social networks, lusophony, media literacy, digital inclusion and active ageing. Current Projects: Media In Action - MIA (LC-00644630; and DecoDeM - (Des)Codificar Masculinidades: para uma melhor compreensão do papel dos media na construção de perceções de masculinidades em Portugal (PTDC/COM-CSS/31740/2017).

Cristiano Gianolla is Post-doc researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra. His research interests lie at the intersection of intercultural, democratic and postcolonial studies. He currently integrates the research team of the ECHOES project (H2020) and he integrated the research team of the ALICE project (ERC 2011-2016).

Seminar Series

Slam Seminars