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You are what you read: Media, identity and community in the 2020 Belarusian uprising

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalPost-Soviet Affairs
Accepted/In press20 Dec 2021

Documents

  • GreeneS_PSA_Belarus_2022

    GreeneS_PSA_Belarus_2022.pdf, 723 KB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:04 Jan 2022

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

King's Authors

Abstract

The movement that mobilized to oppose Aleksander Lukashenka in August 2020 was notable, among other things, for its ability to bridge divisions of social class, geography, age and identity. Almost uniquely in the pantheon of post-Soviet revolutionary movements, the Belarusians who rose up were not divided from those who didn’t along clearly discernible socio-demographic, ethnic, linguistic or regional lines. They were, however, separated by one very stark barrier: the one separating the country’s two distinct media systems, one controlled by the state, and one independent. Drawing on an original survey conducted in September 2020, just as the protest movement was reaching its peak, this article finds that respondents’ choice of news media was the strongest and most consistent predictor of their political opinions. Media, then, appear to have served not merely as aggregators of and conduits for social processes generated elsewhere, but as the producers of social and political force in their own right.

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