The “Non Una di Meno” Feminist Movement in Italy: Connective or Collective?
Por Tommaso Trillò
University of Lodz and GRACE Project
The relationship between social movements and social media is undergoing extensive scholarly investigation. Bennett and Segerberg (2012) ‘connective action’ is arguably one of the most fascinating concepts that recently emerged in this context. ‘Connective action’ is said to arises from reactions to political issues voiced by individual users on social media. This polyphony of voices is organized in a relatively structured narrative through group-based systems of validation such as ‘collective framing’ (Meraz and Papacharissi 2013) and ‘networked gatekeeping’ (Barzilai-Nahon 2008). The concept is presented in opposition to the ‘collective action’ of traditional social movements, in which the formation of a coherent narrative requires (mostly offline) coordination, leadership, and resources that can hardly be mobilized without some (however light) formal structure.
Based on the above theoretical lens, this paper sets off to present some findings from a discourse-centered online ethnography (Androutsoupoulous 2008) of the Non Una di Meno (NUDM) feminist movement in Italy since its inception in early-October 2016. Findings refer to Twitter data from the hashtag #nonunadimeno and from the official twitter profile of the movement (@nonunadimeno), as well as from the authors own participant in one of the NUDM rallies and two of the NUDM national assemblies. Observation of Twitter data offers ground to argue that NUDM presents elements of both ‘connective’ and ‘collective action’, placing it in the ‘hybrid’ category defined by Bennett and Segerberg (2012) as ‘organizationally enabled networks’. Information gathered during fieldwork, however, partially shifts this view. Much of the social media activity of NUDM is actually the outcome of offline and online concertation within the movement, potentially making it closer to an ‘organizationally brokered network’ that relies mostly on collective and only partially on connective action.