Serpica Naro and the Others. The Media Sociali Experience in Italian Struggles Against Precarity

Alice Mattoni


Social movements are also producers of symbolic resources, since they construct new collective identities and provide alternative system of meanings to societies. This was particularly significant with regard to recent struggles against work insecurity in Italy. There, in a discursive context dominated by the so-called ‘flexibility political mantra’, activists raised their voice in order to identify a novel social problem, precarity, and a novel social subject, precarious workers. The paper starts from these premises in order to investigate the so-called media sociali, a particular kind of media practice that had been developed by Italian activists involved in the long protest campaign against precarity, namely the Euro Mayday Parade (EMP). Probably, the media sociali are the most evident attempt to construct a fresh imagery based on precarious workers living and working conditions and to provide an alternative cultural grammar able to speak about precarity. The paper gives back the most important mechanism on which the media sociali rests through the living voices of activists involved in their elaboration: the mechanism of political socialization and social networking as well as the mechanism of diffusion and mutual recognition. Moreover, the paper proposes further reflections about the way in which those activists involved in the EMP perceived the media sociali. In doing so, the paper presents different ways of interpreting political conflict in contemporary Italian social movements and argues that the media sociali are an interesting attempt to overcome both mainstream and independent media in the construction of precarious workers’ imagery and political socialization. Interviews with activists and social movement generated documents are the main data source, investigated according to a qualitative analysis approach.

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