Politics and International Relations at Leicester

e-Engagement Against Violence

The e-EAV comparative project, funded by  the EU’s Daphne initiative with the British case lead by Gabriella Lazaridis, examines the remaking of traditional forms of discrimination through the new means of digital/social media. It aims to promote young people's awareness of the impact of discrimination, and empower them through civic engagement (and also e-engagement) and media/digital literacy.

The project will pursue the following objectives:

  • Mapping populism in Europe and providing a picture of the main organizations and movements operating in seven European countries (France, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Belgium); Analysing communication strategies to understand how organizations have been using the new media;
  • Deconstructing populist rhetoric, instances of 'othering' and raising young people and minorities' awareness: through the analysis of media produced by populist organizations, the aim is to deconstruct stereotypes relating to race, gender, disabilities and sexual orientation, and make young people and minorities aware of how new media misrepresent them;
  • Empowering young people through e-engagement: coherently with media literacy education perspectives, emphasising people empowerment rather than media censorship, the aim is to play on a participatory and active approach to promote young people’s voice appropriation and media literacy skills;
  • Providing teacher training about media literacy and populism/racism to reinforce and amplify the project's impact, and developing an online environment with resources on new media, hate speech and ‘othering’.

The project will be carried out through four interrelated work streams (WS), which will combine analysis and intervention. The first two WSs are intended to understand existing mechanisms between new media, especially web sites and social networks, and populism in Europe through a multi-method approach. This should provide a theoretical and empirical basis for the subsequent two WSs aimed at producing transformation and change through education and training. In particular, young people, teachers and educators will be involved in a participatory process of new media analysis and production, to raise their awareness towards discriminatory speech and violent messages towards the 'other', and engage them in an online community against populism, racism and violence.

The outcomes of the projects will be:

  • A wide survey of new forms of populism in Europe and the use of digital media and social networks;
  • The design, implementation and testing of five media education modules, addressed to at least 300 young people and delivered as open educational resources, on populism, hate speech, and new media;
  • The design, implementation and testing of five online training modules, addressed to at least 150 teachers and educators and delivered as open educational resources, on populism, racism and digital media platforms;
  • The design and implementation of a web portal supporting a virtual communities of young people and adults against media violence and hate speech towards the 'other' in Europe;
  • The publication of a book including research results on populism and new media in Europe, and guidelines to develop learning and training materials on populism, hate speech, and new media in the media/digital literacy education.

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