The "Social Media" Maneuver

Andrew Chadwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Downloads (Pure)


Social media. Think about it. For those concerned with how the participatory logics of digital media may undermine the elitist logics of broadcast media, social media is a concept and, of course, a set of social, economic, and political practices, rich with strengths and vulnerabilities. This is because the very term “social media” is the product of diverse strategies of discursive colonization and boundary drawing. It is a contested concept, one that implies digital media logics of activism, interactivity, exuberance, community-building, diversity, pluralism, horizontality, and free expression, but also one used by those in the fields of news, entertainment, politics, and commerce, who constantly seek to fix and freeze its understanding in ways that suit their own interests and identities. This is but one among many features of a hybrid media system in which the sometimes-competing and sometimes-complementary logics of older and newer media constantly interact to shape the flow of information. Allow me to briefly illustrate my point with what is, for a scholar of media and politics at any rate, an unusual case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-2
Number of pages2
JournalSocial Media and Society
Issue number1
Early online date11 May 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 May 2015

Cite this