I have finally submitted my first draft of my research proposal. My thesis, which is on dramaturgical approach to dynamics of leaderless movements (at least that’s how it looks like so far) was 74 pages in entirety, albeit a little too long for submission. I received it back a week later with a list of revisions from my advisor. It was quite a lengthy list, however not too overwhelming — at least maybe not yet, not until I sit down properly and focus. When you are an inbetweener (both a practitioner and an academics), you hear these things a lot: your writing is too scholarly for the industry, and you also write too loose for the academia.
All in all, it’s been good to see your thesis finally starts to shape itself.
On the other hand, with regards to my research, I have been thinking about these two lines a lot. One is from Paul Routledge in a chapter of Rethinking Geopolitics, on how movements with more emotional, confrontational fronts receive more spotlight (although sometimes often portrayed in disparaging light) more so than peaceful ones, leading to the downplay of the movements’ initial goals and ideology:
“As the practice of resistance becomes increasingly dramaturgical, there is a danger that politics may become more about appearance than effect, more about symbolic protest than material change.”
Cross-reference that with Tufekci’s writing on attention as a commodity and acquiring media attention for social movements:
“Politics is the spectacle has long been an attention acquisition strategy.”
Back to my research: as these two papers have their own index on how to measure attention, how do we measure movements dynamics?