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Occupying Public Opinion: Spontaneous mass protests in Brazil as a political communication phenomenon.

Matheus Lock Santos
PhD Candidate, School of Politics & IR
Primary supervisor: Dr Lasse Thomassen

I have a Master's degree in Communication and Information from UFRGS, Brazil, and an Undergraduate degree in Social Communication from PUCRS, Brazil. I also have experience in marketing and communications research, with emphasis in the following areas: new social movements, social networking, and politics.

    My research looks at the relation between new mass movements/activism and digital technologies. I also investigate the emergence of new forms of mass demonstration and the construction of an alternative political narrative by such movements and its impact on public opinion as a discursive sphere.

    More precisely, I investigate how new spontaneous social movements as a viral political communication phenomenon, facilitated by the constant usage of digital technologies by the protesters themselves, have been used to express, expose and manifest protestors’ demands and discontentment with the current political and economic system in Brazil. Thus, I analyse the strategic role played by digital materiality in the political struggles of such mass protests, both regarding their organization/articulation and forms of expression, and the diffusion of ideas into the wider sphere of public visibility and public discussion.

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