Paola Sartoretto giving a talk at ULBRA (Porto Alegre, Brazil)

Paola Sartoretto


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Romance Studies and Classics
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 B, plan 5
Room B5163
Postal address Romanska och klassiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

My research is located in the intersaction between social movements, activism, communication and media with an interest for contemporary social processes in Latin America. My ongoing project explores the ways in which activists and social movement create collective memory and establish themselves as historical subjects in a context where ephemeral digital media gain more importance for activist communication. I hold a PhD degree in Media and Communication from Karlstad University, MA degrees in Media and Communication from Stockholm University - JMK and Sociology from City University, London and BA in Journalism from Santa Maria University, Brazil.


I have taught a wide variety of courses in Media and Communication at Karlstad University, Södertörn University, Jönköping University, Stockholm University and Uppsala University and supervised about a 100 student theses (bachelor and master). I have also participated in various exchange programmes for university professors through which I have taught at Santa Maria University in Brazil, Bremen University in Germany, Cádiz University in Spain and Lakehead University in Canada.

Teaching training courses (in Swedish):

Att handleda självständiga arbeten (Supervision of students' independent work) - equivalent to 7,5 ECTS - Södertörn University 2016

Erfarenhetsbaserad kurs i högskolepedagogik (Experience based course in higher education pedagogy) - equivalent to 7,5 ECTS - Södertörn University 2016

Selected taught courses: 


Medierna i samhället - undergraduate, Swedish, Södertörn U

Vardagens medier - undergraduate, Swedish, Södertörn U

Medieaktivism och alternativa medier - undergraduate (distance), Swedish, Södertörn U

Media and Everyday Life - master, English, Södertörn U

Global Crisis Communication - master, English, Jönköping U

Media in Latin America - master, English, Jönköping U

Kommunikation och social förändring - undergraduate, Swedish, Karlstad U

Media, Culture and Technology - undergraduate, English, Karlstad U


My research interests are situated at the intersection between activism, mobilisation, communication and media. In my doctoral disertation I have analysed and discussed how the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (Movimento Sem-Terra, MST) use media to construct and maitain internal cohesion, mobilise its militands and create a dialogue with other sectors in society. After the dissertation continue researching on social movements in Brazil and deepened the analysis of the interplay between communication, social mobilisation, citizenship and democracy. In my current research project I aim to analyse the significances of collective memory and processes of memory construcion for activist groups and social movements in Latin America.

I am also interested in the development of theoretical perspectives in media and communication in media and communication in Latin America and on how these perspectives relatet to theoretical development in the Global North.

Selected publications

1) Voices from the Margins - People, Media and the Struggle for Land in Brazil

2) Young People, Class and the News - Distinction, socialization and moral feelings

3) Mobilization as communication - A Latin American contribution to the study of social movements



A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2016. Paola Madrid Sartoretto. Animus 15 (30), 118-129

    Mídia alternativa radical (Downing, 2000) é um tipo de produção midiática comum entre movimentos sociais cujos membros não veem suas causas representadas na mídia dominante. Esse é o caso do Movimento Sem-Terra (MST), que desde 1984 tem criado meios de comunicação próprios e produzido conteúdo para plataformas variadas, tornando-se mais tarde ativo na área da democratização da comunicação. Baseado em trabalho de campo realizado em 2013 e 2014, esse artigo propõe uma perspectiva de direito à comunicação que aborde a configuração estrutural do setor de comunicação e não apenas a provisão de tecnologias e habilidades de produção. O estudo demonstra que ação coletiva e promoção de mudanças estruturais ainda são relevantes, aliadas às novas tecnologias de comunicação.

  • 2016. Paola Madrid Sartoretto. OBS - Observatorio

    Recent discussions and research about the uses of digital social media platforms by social movements and protest organizations have raised questions about threats and challenges represented by these technologies. There is also a debate on whether digital social media platforms can contribute to establish and strengthen long-standing oppositional groups and structural change. In this context, this article analyses how the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) experiences and views the use of digital social media platforms in its communicative processes. Based on interviews and observations, the article shows how MST militants present ambivalent views towards platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and towards the dynamics of digital communication. Conclusions point that the main concern is threat to the organic collective character of the movement posed by individualistic digital social media platforms. Different from contemporary protest organisations, MST sees a clear separation between the movement and its media. The goal is to appropriate of and control media technologies, which brings many difficulties when dealing with digital social media platforms.

  • 2016. Paola Sartoretto. Innovative methods in media and communication research, 189-205

    Sartoretto shows the necessity of ethnography inspired methodologies that are attentive to communication as an open-ended process to better understand media related practices. The chapter highlights the ways multimedia ethnographic fieldwork is useful to inform research that seeks to understand realities in transitional and unequal societies outside the Euro-American context. Sartoretto also explicates that a too strong focus on analyzing the significances for social action of new technologies that are unequally available across different groups tends to give an eschewed view of the democratizing potentials of these technologies. By focusing on the experiences of a marginalized group in Brazil that is geographically distant from urban centers and does not have access to the most advanced technologies, the chapter broadens the horizons of analysis of the interplay between social action and media.

  • 2016. Paola Sartoretto. Commons: revista de comunicación y ciudadanía digital 5 (2), 93-117

    Many scholars have noted the lack of interdisciplinary dialogue and research between the areas of social movements studies and that of media and communications. While social movement studies fail to fully analyse media practices and communicative processes in relation to mobilization, in media and communication the social and political aspects of mobilization are seldom taken into account when analysing communication in social movements. This apparent lack of dialogue is presented in the paper as a consequence of north-centred theorization in the fields of social movement studies and media and communication, which is addressed by spelling out the contribution of Latin American communication scholarship and a view of mobilization as anchored in communication.

Show all publications by Paola Sartoretto at Stockholm University

Last updated: July 2, 2018

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