Tactical mediatization and activist ageing: pressures, push-backs, and the story of RECAA

Kim Sawchuk


This case study examines the incorporation of digital media technologies and practices into Respecting Elders: Communities Against elder Abuse (RECAA), an organization of activist elders. By studying RECAA’s specific transition and following the work of Michel de Certeau (1988), I distinguish between tactical mediatization and strategic mediatization. Organizations such as RECAA must negotiate with political, ideological, administrative, and economic agendas that exert pressure and provide incentives for organizations “to mediatize” in order to survive in the current Canadian context. ‘Tactical mediatization’ is used to understand RECAA’s very deliberate and considered response to these pressures. This distinction provides a framework for conceptualizing how activist organizations such as RECAA struggle to exert agency within meta-processes that place mounting and insistent pressure on the organization to incorporate digital media technologies into its mandate and system of values.


media theory; participatory media methods; mediatization; mediation; forum theatre; ageing; age

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/mediekultur.v29i54.7313

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ISSN: 1901-9726

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