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The Covid-19 pandemic and the emergence of anti-lockdown sentiments

Crises in Digital Spaces: The Covid-19 pandemic and the emergence of anti-lockdown identities, emotions, cognitions, and motivations

The Anti-Corona project views anti-lockdown protests as part of the rise of radical right-wing discourses and protests such as the recent Capitol riots in the US in January 2021.

It proposes a novel perspective in understanding online anti-publics, studying the broader narrative, expression and visual representation of a recent and popularised political mobilisation, with an aim to understand the social factors including marginalisation, ontological discomfort and moral outrage intertwined with online drivers that turn grievance and alienation into right-wing activism.

Evidence from social psychology and cognitive sciences bolster studies in the online expression on social media platforms, as these disciplines suggest that people have underlying motivations, beliefs and intuitions driving their preferences and decisions, which, in turn, feed their online self-presentation.

The project investigates how social groups can shape radicalisation of individuals and enforce shared group norms, beliefs, and stereotypes and how these social groups expose their unifying ideologies on online platforms and in public spaces. We hypothesise that ontological comfort moralises prudential concerns. Anti-lockdown protesters are morally outraged by the lockdown imposed on them. Anti-Corona investigates to what extent moralising ontological comfort and marginalisation can be considered moral, as it infringes on the freedoms and health precautions of others. To investigate ontological discomfort, social exclusion and marginalisation, the Anti-Corona project produces a solid empirical base using digital, visual, and survey methodologies.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Ozge Ozduzen - Research I am a lecturer in sociology and communications. My research is primarily on media activism and participation, where I investigate political voice and mobilisation, intersectional approaches to urban and digital citizenship, and migration. My research brings urban studies literature into our understanding of political expression and social identities on media platforms. At the moment, my research covers how racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic views and ideologies become widespread on Twitter, YouTube and TikTok at times of socio-political crises. As part of this, I studied the online social exclusion of Syrians following the humanitarian crisis, focusing on how users employ social media platforms for their racist place-making activities and categorise the figure of the "refugee". Currently, I work on the visual cultures of radicalised right-wing groups and their online audience-making strategies, examining the mainstreaming of these cultures online, especially through an investigation of conspiracies. I am a Principal Investigator for a new Horizon 2020 project entitled "D.Rad: De-Radicalisation in Europe and Beyond: Detect, Resolve, Re-integrate" (Dec 2020 - Dec 2023), where I study the mainstreaming of radicalisation on media platforms specifically in the UK, and media's potential roles in deradicalisation. Previously, I was British Academy Newton International Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University London, a post-doc at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies in Lund University, funded by the Swedish Institute and a fully funded international PhD student in media at Edge Hill University (2016). So far, I have published my research in prestigious academic journals such as New Media & Society, International Journal of Communication or Political Geography. I have also regularly shared my findings in semi-academic platforms such as The Conversation or Discover Society whilst presenting them in notable conferences like MeCCSA and ISA. Up until now, my research has been funded by the British Academy; Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); Swedish Institute; Political Studies Association and the European Commission. I am a member of the Centre for Global Lives and the Institute for Digital Futures at Brunel University London.  Teaching I am an experienced tutor in media and communications. At Brunel University, I have taught Making Web Cultures (MSc), Social Media and Networked Cultures (2nd year), Creative Industries (MSc), Racism, Identity and Difference (3rd year) and two foundational modules on methods and theories of media and culture. I have also contributed to Creative Industries, Fashion and Culture (2nd year) and two other foundational modules on becoming independent scholars and skills in humanities and social sciences. I have supervised dissertations on various subjects, including digital cultures and social identities. Prior to my current role, I was a university teacher at Loughborough University London, contributing to a module on diplomatic communication whilst supervising many MSc dissertations on digital politics. I also taught widely at Edge Hill University’s media department, specifically on media and society and audience research. Additionally, I taught in various media departments in Turkey and thus have an international teaching experience beyond the UK/EU setting. Other activities I am a FIPRESCI member film and cultural journalist and previously wrote reviews for online and offline media platforms in Turkey and Greece. I have experience in co-organising small activist festivals such as Canakkale Labour Film Festival (Çanakkale İşçi Filmleri Festivali). I also contributed to a travelling film literacy programme across the Balkans, entitled the 5C project. Grants Political Studies Association (PSA) Research and Innovation Fund 2021 Horizon 2020 - De-Radicalisation in Europe and Beyond: Detect, Resolve, Re-integrate, (D.Rad), Principal Investigator (December 2020 - December 2023), €3,056,535/Brunel budget: €183,750 AHRC - 5GXR - Exploring the potential for 5G for the games and performing arts sector Co-I (May 2020 - March 2021) £44,766 British Academy Training and Dissemination Grant (2019) £5024 British Academy Newton International Fellowship NF170302 (2017-2019) £81,577 Swedish Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship 02496/2017 (2017) SEK 216,000

Related Research Group(s)

Global Lives

Global Lives - Research conducted in the Centre addresses the challenges facing society, helping to change the lives of people around the world by bringing economic, social and cultural benefits.

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Project last modified 11/06/2021