Communication Technologies and Aid Practices: Superbergamo, Group chats, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Laura Lucia Parolin*, Carmen Pellegrinelli

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    Abstract

    This article examines “Superbergamo”, a collective which emerged in response to the needs of vulnerable citizens during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bergamo (Italy). The analysis reveals the central role of social media and group chat systems in facilitating the spontaneous creation of the group, and the subsequent development of coordinated voluntary emergency activities that brought aid to thousands of local people. Inspired by Actor-Network theory, the analysis traces of the group's emergence, showing how human and non-human actors—including social media and group chat apps—played a crucial role in shaping the aid practice. In so doing, we contribute to the literature on emergency responses from the public and social media. More significantly, we show how the critical contribution of technology to the development and sustenance of aid practices can be mapped, by providing evidence of how groups, practices and sociomaterial networks are necessarily entangled.

    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    Artikelnummer787202
    TidsskriftFrontiers in Communication
    Vol/bind7
    Antal sider13
    ISSN2297-900X
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 16. jun. 2022

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