This ‘exploratory case study’ focuses on the Web 2.0 practices related to the popular cult of ‘Madonna dell’Arco’. Actually, the devotees share a large number of contents regarding the devotional practices using social networking sites, blogs and video sharing sites. The use of social media by the devotees is striking, as the novelty of technology and practices seems to contrast with the ancestral themes of popular religiosity. In fact, the penitential pilgrimage on foot to the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Arco in Sant’Anastasía (Province of Naples) has taken place on Easter Mondays every year since the end of the 15th century. It is also rooted in very ancient fertility rites, probably tied to Cybele’s cults. In other words, the use of social media by the devotees seems to reveal for us how the slowly evolving structures and the short-term time-scale events intertwine, in a space and time in which we find the coexistence of forms, practices and power relations, both established and innovative. Therefore, the principal aim of this article is not to consider the use of social media by the devotees in its religious substance. It would rather confront these evidences with the metanarratives which describe how the homogenisation, the mediatisation and the network society are reducing cultural diversities and eroding national identities. At the same time, it aims at confronting them with some widely diffused ideas about the ‘trajectory’ or ‘logic’ of the media and some narratives (and/or mythologies) about information and communications technologies and their social effects. Otherwise, we could consider this article as an attempt towards ‘non-media-centric media studies’ which acknowledges the distinctive characteristics and affordances of the media but also, and fundamentally, puts the social and everyday practices at the centre of the investigation, not necessarily explaining them through media features

Global media and local worlds: The devotees of Madonna of the Arch are using social media - An exploratory case study

STAZIO, Marialuisa
2015

Abstract

This ‘exploratory case study’ focuses on the Web 2.0 practices related to the popular cult of ‘Madonna dell’Arco’. Actually, the devotees share a large number of contents regarding the devotional practices using social networking sites, blogs and video sharing sites. The use of social media by the devotees is striking, as the novelty of technology and practices seems to contrast with the ancestral themes of popular religiosity. In fact, the penitential pilgrimage on foot to the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Arco in Sant’Anastasía (Province of Naples) has taken place on Easter Mondays every year since the end of the 15th century. It is also rooted in very ancient fertility rites, probably tied to Cybele’s cults. In other words, the use of social media by the devotees seems to reveal for us how the slowly evolving structures and the short-term time-scale events intertwine, in a space and time in which we find the coexistence of forms, practices and power relations, both established and innovative. Therefore, the principal aim of this article is not to consider the use of social media by the devotees in its religious substance. It would rather confront these evidences with the metanarratives which describe how the homogenisation, the mediatisation and the network society are reducing cultural diversities and eroding national identities. At the same time, it aims at confronting them with some widely diffused ideas about the ‘trajectory’ or ‘logic’ of the media and some narratives (and/or mythologies) about information and communications technologies and their social effects. Otherwise, we could consider this article as an attempt towards ‘non-media-centric media studies’ which acknowledges the distinctive characteristics and affordances of the media but also, and fundamentally, puts the social and everyday practices at the centre of the investigation, not necessarily explaining them through media features
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/57558
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