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Hashtag Publics

The Power and Politics of Discursive Networks


Edited By Nathan Rambukkana

This collection investigates the publics of the hashtag. Taking cues from critical public sphere theory, contributors are interested in publics that break beyond the mainstream – in other publics. They are interested in the kinds of publics that do politics in a way that is rough and emergent, flawed and messy, and ones in which new forms of collective power are being forged on the fly and in the shadow of loftier mainstream spheres.
Hashtags are deictic, indexical – yet what they point to is themselves, their own dual role in ongoing discourse. Focusing on hashtags used for topics from Ferguson, Missouri, to Australian politics, from online quilting communities to labour protests, from feminist outrage to drag pop culture, this collection follows hashtag publics as they trend beyond Twitter into other spaces of social networking such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr as well as other media spaces such as television, print, and graffiti.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Hashtag publics: the power and politics of discursive networks / edited by Nathan Rambukkana. pages cm. — (Digital formations; vol. 103) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Online social networks—Political aspects. 2. Information technology—Political aspects. 3. Political participation—Technological innovations. I. Rambukkana, Nathan. HM742.H3834 302.30285—dc23 2015021776 ISBN 978-1-4331-2899-8 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-2898-1 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1672-8 (e-book) ISSN 1526-3169 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at Front cover photo: Alina Murad Back cover: Lois Warwick, 42 Hashtags quilt, as seen on The Quilt Works, Inc., based on a pattern from Fons & Porter’s Scrap Quilts magazine, spring 2014.

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