This book explores how issues of power, form and subjectivity feature at the core of all serious thinking about the media, including appreciations of their creativity as well as anxiety about the risks they pose. Drawing widely on an interdisciplinary literature, the author connects his exposition to examples from film, television, radio, photography, painting, web practice, music and writing in order to bring in topics as diverse as reporting the war in Afghanistan, the televising of football, documentary portrayals of 9/11, reality television, the diversity of taste in the arts and the construction of civic identity. The book is divided into two parts. In the first part, three big chapters on each of the key notions provide an interconnected discussion of the media activities opened up for exploration and the debates they have provoked. The second part presents examples, arguments and analysis drawing on the author's previous work around the core themes, with notes placing them in the context of the whole book. The book brings together concepts both from Social Studies and the Arts and Humanities, addressing a readership wider than the sub-specialisms of media research. It refreshes ideas about why the media matter, and how understanding them better remains a key aim of cultural inquiry and a continuing requirement for public policy.
Monstrous Media/Spectral Subjects explores Gothic, monstrosity, spectrality and media forms and technologies (music, fiction's engagements with photography/ cinema, film, magic practice and new media) from the later nineteenth century to the present day. Placing Gothic forms and productions in an explicitly interdisciplinary context, it investigates how the engagement with technologies drives the dissemination of Gothic across diverse media through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, while conjuring all kinds of haunting and spectral presences that trouble cultural narratives of progress and technological advancement.
The book explores how we understand global conflicts as they relate to the ‘European refugee crisis’, and draws on a range of empirical fieldwork carried out in the UK and Italy. It examines how global conflict has been constructed in both countries through media representations – in a climate of changing media habits, widespread mistrust, and fake news. In so doing, it examines the role played by historical amnesia about legacies of imperialism – and how this leads to a disavowal of responsibility for the reasons people flee their countries. The book explores how this understanding in turn shapes institutional and popular responses in receiving countries, ranging from hostility – such as the framing of refugees by politicians, as 'economic migrants' who are abusing the asylum system – to solidarity initiatives. Based on interviews and workshops with refugees in both countries, the book develops the concept of ‘migrantification’ – in which people are made into migrants by the state, the media and members of society. In challenging the conventional expectation for immigrants to tell stories about their migration journey, the book explores experiences of discrimination as well as acts of resistance. It argues that listening to those on the sharpest end of the immigration system can provide much-needed perspective on global conflicts and inequalities, which challenges common Eurocentric misconceptions. Interludes, interspersed between chapters, explore these issues in other ways through songs, jokes and images.
This collection interrogates the representation of humanitarian crisis and
catastrophe, and the refraction of humanitarian intervention and action, from
the mid-twentieth century to the present, across a diverse range of media forms:
traditional and contemporary screen media (film, television and online video) as
well as newspapers, memoirs, music festivals and social media platforms (such as
Facebook, YouTube and Flickr). The book thus explores the historical, cultural
and political contexts that have shaped the mediation of humanitarian
relationships since the middle of the twentieth century. Together, the chapters
illustrate the continuities and connections, as well as the differences, which
have characterised the mediatisation of both states of emergency and acts of
amelioration. The authors reveal and explore the significant synergies between
the humanitarian enterprise, the endeavour to alleviate the suffering of
particular groups, and media representations, and their modes of addressing and
appealing to specific publics. The chapters consider the ways in which media
texts, technologies and practices reflect and shape the shifting moral,
political, ethical, rhetorical, ideological and material dimensions of
international humanitarian emergency and intervention, and have become integral
to the changing relationships between organisations, institutions, governments,
individual actors and entire sectors.
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.
Kirsten Forkert, Federico Oliveri, Gargi Bhattacharyya and Janna Graham
Social media, mutual aid and
solidarity movements as a
response to institutional
Earlier in this book, we discussed media coverage of wars, and
international relations more generally, and how this produces a
sense of helplessness, confusion and general distrust for media
audiences. Information about global conflicts seems inadequate,
biased, and does not give people enough of a conceptual framework
to understand or respond. This is connected to a sense that
international and national governments are failing to deal with
media discussion about the threat
of the illegal entrance of foreign workers into the USA.
In the course of the film, the discussion of an illicit
border crossing turns into a far more toxic boundary transgression
from death back to life. By cross-mapping Brooke’s lyrical
imagery with the lore of voodoo zombies, my chapter
proposes that what we get is a sense of an uncanny
This research offers an important discussion of the audience's perspectives and reactions to their experience of Muslims and Islam in the media. Emerging clearly are a number of issues related to current media practices, including the importance of media on daily lived experiences, and the negotiation of meaning by participants in their media practices. Often the dominant issue in the news is Muslim terrorism and violence. This is consequently considered to be an important subject among the participants, and that is commensurable with their
Nor is it surprising that media and cultural research has been at the
forefront of attempts to engage with issues of subjectivity, placing them
more centrally within its accounts. As a major producer of the symbolic
environment in which many people grow up and live their lives, the
media have always been seen as a formative factor in consciousness and
the various makings of ‘what people are’ and ‘who they think they are’.
Indeed, there is a tradition of assuming so direct an impact in this regard
that part of the intellectual dynamics behind
In this chapter I want to explore a selection of the numerous and wideranging issues that are to do, directly or otherwise, with the ‘power’ of
the media. Research into the various aspects of power, and arguments
about it, have always been at the centre of academic interest in media.
Sometimes, the focus has been on ‘influence and effects’, a concern with
the measurable consequences of output for the perceptions and attitudes
of media readerships and audiences. This is the strongest strand of international research, operating across a wide variety of