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From sofa to frontline: The digital mediation and domestication of warfare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-365
Number of pages24
JournalMedia, War & Conflict
Issue number3
PublishedSep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the Leverhulme Trust as a part of Early Career Fellowship. Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2021. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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    Uploaded date:10 Feb 2021

    Version:Final published version

    Licence:CC BY

King's Authors


Much attention has been dedicated to how digital platforms change the nature of modern conflict. However, less has been paid to how the changes in the nature of warfare affect everyday lives. This article examines how digital mediation allows a convergence of the domestic environment and the battlefield by offering new ways for participation in warfare. It contributes to the discussion of how new participatory affordances change the nature of conflicts and whether they empower users or offer institutional actors more control over users. To this end, this research explores the transformation of domestic spaces, mediated via memes, as digital artefacts of participatory culture (see Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, 2009, by Henry Jenkins). Building on the notion of domestication (see Domesticating the Revolution: Information and Communication Technologies and Everyday Life, 1993, by Roger Silverstone), the article conducts a discursive analysis of memes referring to the notion of ‘sofa warfare’ – an ironic description of internet users taking part in conflict without leaving their own sofas – in the context of the Russia–Ukraine conflict.

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