Europe Says OXI: “Online Camaraderie” and European Crisis
This paper presents a small-scale case study of the Facebook page, Europe Says OXI, and a group of political activists spread across European cities who are affiliated with the page. It focuses on how digital communications practices play a role in social movement participation, and follows these young people’s practices and stories as they move between different forms of mediated communication. This shows how activists use social media to apply mobilization frames that align with their shared ideological tenets, display emergent forms of leadership, and negotiate the use of media within moral frameworks. The argument complicates theories of connective identity and connective action, which some scholars discuss as a new mode of practice produced through the uptake of social media within contemporary social movements. It challenges the idea that these new modes are replacing older notions of collective identity by being personalized, leaderless, and eschewing ideology. Moving beyond seeing collective and connective in opposition, the paper attempts to build a concept around the emic term, ‘online camaraderie’, taking it as a felt sense of shared connection to the movement, its events, places, and its other participants. It suggests that understanding how a sense of camaraderie is mediation requires further theoretical and methodological reflection on how to trace the traversal of the affective relationships that the social movement relies on across various means of communication.