Alternative media and democracy : political participation and expression through social media in Turkey
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We live in a late-modern age characterized by globalization, self-reflexivity and high level of detraditionalization accompanied by the latest developments in the field of communication and information technologies. Besides its economic, social and cultural consequences, such an environment is mostly invested with great potential for realizing participatory democracy. Due to major transformations appeared in both class structure and cultural realm, the politics of late-modern age pursues a form of politics which is beyond left and right and, by a remarkable reformation, it can be called what Anthony Giddens calls a “third way politics”. Therefore, in such an environment, old political practices of participation and expression remain incompatible with social and cultural structure of the late-modern age. Herein, social media as a socialized and horizontal mode of communication, functions as a public space for struggles over power and counter-power especially for the groups who were interpellated as “others” since the foundation of the Turkish Republic in different periods of history. Benefiting from the discussions on the concepts of public sphere, citizenship, democracy and social media, this thesis studies the nature of political participation and expression through social media in Turkey and the potential of social media for being an instance of alternative media deepening democracy.