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How to be visible in student politics : performativity and the digital public space in Bangladesh

Julian Kuttig (UGent) and Bert Suykens (UGent)
(2020) JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES. 79(3). p.707-738
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Abstract
In Bangladeshi student politics, political performances in public spaces play an essential role in establishing patronage relationships and determining local authority structures. As Thomas Blom Hansen has famously argued, "visibility means everything" in such a context. With the emergence of social networking sites like Facebook, new digital public spaces have appeared. Focusing on ruling-party student activists at Rajshahi University, this article examines how student politicians in Bangladesh utilize Facebook to become visible in their everyday politicking. It shows how longstanding performative repertoires in the nondigital public space have gained a new salience through performances in the digital public space. It is those digital spaces that allow the performer to rearticulate even mundane everyday events as political performances. As these new digital public spaces impact the politics of visibility, it is crucial to integrate them in our efforts to understand local politics in South Asia and beyond.
Keywords
Bangladesh, digital public space, Facebook, political performance, social media, South Asia, student politics, SOCIAL MEDIA, PARTY-STATE, FACEBOOK, SITES, POWER

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MLA
Kuttig, Julian, and Bert Suykens. “How to Be Visible in Student Politics : Performativity and the Digital Public Space in Bangladesh.” JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES, vol. 79, no. 3, 2020, pp. 707–38, doi:10.1017/S0021911819001839.
APA
Kuttig, J., & Suykens, B. (2020). How to be visible in student politics : performativity and the digital public space in Bangladesh. JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES, 79(3), 707–738. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911819001839
Chicago author-date
Kuttig, Julian, and Bert Suykens. 2020. “How to Be Visible in Student Politics : Performativity and the Digital Public Space in Bangladesh.” JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES 79 (3): 707–38. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911819001839.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Kuttig, Julian, and Bert Suykens. 2020. “How to Be Visible in Student Politics : Performativity and the Digital Public Space in Bangladesh.” JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES 79 (3): 707–738. doi:10.1017/S0021911819001839.
Vancouver
1.
Kuttig J, Suykens B. How to be visible in student politics : performativity and the digital public space in Bangladesh. JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES. 2020;79(3):707–38.
IEEE
[1]
J. Kuttig and B. Suykens, “How to be visible in student politics : performativity and the digital public space in Bangladesh,” JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES, vol. 79, no. 3, pp. 707–738, 2020.
@article{8635884,
  abstract     = {In Bangladeshi student politics, political performances in public spaces play an essential role in establishing patronage relationships and determining local authority structures. As Thomas Blom Hansen has famously argued, "visibility means everything" in such a context. With the emergence of social networking sites like Facebook, new digital public spaces have appeared. Focusing on ruling-party student activists at Rajshahi University, this article examines how student politicians in Bangladesh utilize Facebook to become visible in their everyday politicking. It shows how longstanding performative repertoires in the nondigital public space have gained a new salience through performances in the digital public space. It is those digital spaces that allow the performer to rearticulate even mundane everyday events as political performances. As these new digital public spaces impact the politics of visibility, it is crucial to integrate them in our efforts to understand local politics in South Asia and beyond.},
  author       = {Kuttig, Julian and Suykens, Bert},
  issn         = {0021-9118},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES},
  keywords     = {Bangladesh,digital public space,Facebook,political performance,social media,South Asia,student politics,SOCIAL MEDIA,PARTY-STATE,FACEBOOK,SITES,POWER},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {707--738},
  title        = {How to be visible in student politics : performativity and the digital public space in Bangladesh},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0021911819001839},
  volume       = {79},
  year         = {2020},
}

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