American Ethnological Society
Oral Presentation Session
How do states crowd ‘us,’ as populations, markets, and political constituencies at once? Looking to recent debates over the relationship between social media and political processes in the UK, the US, and Mexico, this paper explores how digital technologies intensify dynamics that have long enlivened (and haunted) crowd theory -- a body of work defined by an anxious concern over emotional contagion, social “dissolution,” and the mediums through which ineffable energetic forces travel. It is not just resistance movements that generate such crowd dynamics; state and as-if states manage and mobilize crowd intensities, in ways that might, in turn, suggest new ways of theorizing the digital itself.