Keywords

Social movements, digital networks, myths, hero, shadow, activism

Abstract

The general subject of this analysis is the presence of myths on social media, a heritage of the previous century’s mass culture, and in particular, for social movements. Social movements within networked communication are particularly endowed with mythologies, which draw on mass culture and on societies’ archetypal and psychological backgrounds. This fact justifies the hypothesis that the most effective and popular social movements resort to deeper mythological forms. The specific objective is to describe concrete myths in the language of digital social movements and to review the aspects of mythology in the scholarly literature on mythology from four fields. After tracing contents and impact, a qualitative analysis, focused on two examples justified by their digital origin, is performed: the “Anonymous” movement and “Je Suis Charlie” social mobilisation. Results show the persistence of two mythological motives: the profound hero’s monomyth, playing an essential identifying role, channelled through social networks, with hashtags as slogans, and the related myth of the shadow, the dark, “Anonymous” and hybrid identity. Connections and analogies with other recent examples are discussed ?such as the “Me Too” and “Black Lives Matter” cases?. The conclusion is the clear connection between these two myths and the communicative strength of social movements transmitted through social networks.

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Technical information

Received: 01-12-2020

Revised: 03-01-2021

Accepted: 15-02-2021

OnlineFirst: 15-04-2021

Publication date: 01-07-2021

Article revision time: 33 days | Average time revision issue 68: 37 days

Article acceptance time: 76 days | Average time of acceptance issue 68: 78 days

Preprint editing time: 166 days | Average editing time preprint issue 68: 168 days

Article editing time: 211 days | Average editing time issue 68: 213 days

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Palomo-Domínguez, I. (2021). Del mito a la viralidad: El caso de la campaña de Cruzcampo que resucitó a Lola Flores. aDRresearch ESIC, 26(26), 38-58.

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Miller, T., Aladro-Vico, E., & Requeijo-Rey, P. (2021). The hero and the shadow: Myths in digital social movements. [El héroe y la sombra: Mitos en los movimientos sociales digitales]. Comunicar, 68, 9-20. https://doi.org/10.3916/C68-2021-01

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