This chapter analyses how the findings of the research relate to current topical issues. It does this by examining the data in light of recent events. This leads to a discussion on how socio-political events are informed by media discourse, and how those discourses continue to inform the thoughts and actions of non-Muslims on an everyday basis.
This chapter discusses how the media practices of a media institution relate to the practices of individuals. By exploring the thoughts and actions of non-Muslims’ media behaviour, it is possible to ascertain in what ways a mediacratic society informs and structures behaviour. This will provide a natural follow-on from chapters 1 and 2, and informs the reader as to how media as an institution relates to socio-political practices.
This chapter explores how current portrayals of Islam and Muslims influence society. It does so by putting research data gathered using focus groups and interviews with non-Muslim participants in dialogue with one another. This then leads to a discussion about how this affects socio-political engagement, with a particular reference to the spreading of ideologies, discourses, and political capital. This will be explored by looking at how media communication and public debate affect community relations on the ground, through participant voices.
The book starts by detailing the theoretical and methodological background to the work, and how this informs the work itself. It then goes on to explain the significance of each individual chapter to the study as a whole, as well as the field in general.
This book considers how the coverage of Islam and Muslims in the press informs the thoughts and actions of non-Muslims. As media plays an important role in society, analysing its influence(s) on a person’s ideas and conceptualisations of people with another religious persuasion is important. News reports commonly feature stories discussing terrorism, violence, the lack of integration and compatibility, or other unwelcome or irrational behaviour by Muslims and Islam. Yet there is little research on how non-Muslims actually engage with, and are affected by, such reports. To address this gap, a content and discourse analysis of news stories was undertaken; verbal narratives or thoughts and actions of participants were then elicited using interviews and focus groups. The participant accounts point towards the normativity of news stories and their negotiated reception patterns. Individual orientations towards the media as an information source proved to be a significant factor behind the importance of news reports, with individually negotiated personal encounters with Muslims or Islam further affecting the meaning-making process. Participants negotiated media reports to fit their existing outlook on Islam and Muslims. This outlook was constructed through, and simultaneously supported by, news reports about Muslims and Islam. The findings suggest a co-dependency and co-productivity between news reports and participant responses. This research clearly shows that participant responses are (re)productions of local and personal contextuality, where the consequences of socially constructed depictions of Islam and Muslims engage rather than influence individual human thoughts and actions.
This chapter employs Foucault’s understanding of discourse, as suggested in the introduction, to analyse how media in Britain as a system of knowledge, engages with Islam. The British press is understood here as one method for managing and producing Muslims, in a political, sociological, ideological, and imaginative manner. As a consequence, these statements constitute how Muslims and Islam are perceived and can transform their audience’s understanding of Muslims and Islam in accordance with the presupposed system of knowledge.
This chapter covers the representations of Muslims and Islam, exploring the dominant ideas that contribute to the construction of Muslim identities in the press. It provides an in-depth insight into the context of such debates and themes and will offer an assessment of the symbols used in contemporary media. It reveals the manner in which discourses surrounding Muslims circulate, and considers broader issues of integration, multiculturalism, and accommodation debates and experiences.
This chapter focuses on the Single Market, one of the key factors transforming the economic relationship between Britain and its European neighbors for the past 45 years. There are widespread concerns about the impact of Brexit on economic growth, current and future business strategies, and investment in the Single Market. The impact of regulatory entanglements across myriad policy areas is now coming under increased scrutiny, as the reality of an integrated economy with supply chains that highlight this trade and investment relationship is viewed through the lens of British political economy. Yet Brexit also provides a unique opportunity to scrutinize the impact of these entanglements on future European economic integration, because the effects may be felt in material or ideational terms, both for Britain as a third country, and for others that are highly integrated across different sectors and economies, and that depend on the market liberalization approach pushed by Britain. Rather than see the Single Market solely in terms of opportunity costs or benefits for Britain, it is worth considering the impact on other territories and markets.
‘Brexit’, economic citizenship, and the political perils of neoliberalism
Mark I. Vail
This chapter analyzes the social and economic drivers of Brexit and their relationship to the evolution of Tory-centered Euroscepticism and economic policy strategy. It argues that Brexit is best understood as a failure of social and economic community exacerbated by a neoliberal creed that justified both neglect of and attacks on the British social contract. It suggests that the combination of hardening Tory Euroscepticism, budgetary austerity, and voters’ growing anxiety over immigration led to both hostility to the EU and a related quest to regain a sense of economic community defined along increasingly ethnonationalistic lines. The chapter supports this argument with both qualitative evidence detailing the evolution of the Conservative Party’s stances on the EU and national and regional public opinion data. The chapter concludes that the British case offers a cautionary tale for both other European states and the EU about the political risks of economic austerity and neoliberal policies that undermine the economic bases of political consent.
The future of the EU is in question, and not just because of Brexit, which is just one of the many crises that has hit the EU in recent years, including the Eurozone, refugee, and security crises. But how Brexit occurs may have a significant impact on future European integration, just as the future of EU integration will have an impact on UK engagement with the EU. This chapter begins with the UK’s reasons for exit and its history of opting out of EU policies before considering the many crises challenging the EU, including Brexit. It then discusses the current already highly differentiated state of the EU, followed by the likely future of even greater differentiation. The chapter argues that only by conceiving of the future EU as consisting of a ‘soft’ rather than hard core with different clusters of members in overlapping policy communities is the UK likely to be able continue to have a productive relationship with the EU through some of its various policy communities, or is the EU itself most likely to move forward in a positive direction.