Challenge to institutions

4. Challenge to institutionsΒΆ

All over the world, we see people using digital media to question and challenge authorities, organizations, norms and behaviors they perceive as dysfunctional or unjust. Digital media are therefore an important element in the challenge of established social institutions, sometimes even enabling these challenges in the first place.

Some of these challenges are aimed at expanding social representation and strengthening democratic participation. We find examples of this in the use of digital media by social movements, such as Black Lives Matter in the US. Other challenges aim to restrict representation and participation, as the example of the use of digital media by various right-wing populist movements and parties shows. Digital media can therefore contribute to strengthening societies and democracies as well as to weakening them.

In this chapter, we will discuss this role of digital media in politics and society in detail.