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Research on civil society, social movements, and civil rights protests through the media in Latin America - and, in general, in new democracies beyond the West - has shown the way in which populism deepens polarization, making civil society and its media outlets an arena of ideological divides and opposing interests. By bringing Jeffrey Alexander's civil sphere theory to the analysis of #NotOneLess movement in Argentina, this study examines the performative power of the media in creating and spreading a unified civil discourse even in the context of a highly polarized society. The article explores the media discourse on the femicide crisis in Argentina in June 2015 constructed in international and national news outlets and analyses interviews with journalists and activists. In the years prior to the emergence of the #NotOneLess movement, discourse on human rights in Argentina had become polarized owing to Kirchnerism's monopolization and instrumentalization of it, which caused it to disappear from many sectors of Argentine society. The article aims to demonstrate how the media discourse crystallized in the general context of the massive demonstration of 3 June 2015 and did so in a way that set aside particular ideological agendas in the middle of the election period.
Argentina Civil society Cultural sociology Gender violence Human rights Media New democracies Polarization