What does it mean when images of refugees’ plight are shared on social media? Or when we respond to emotive NGO fundraising campaigns, or are heartened by do-good reality TV shows? Do these narratives offer incentives for genuine social change or only momentary feelings of individual satisfaction? Drawing on social theory, political economy and cultural studies, Media Solidarities explores the way in which media can both enable and obstruct meaningful bonds of solidarity and positive social change. Written in a highly approachable style, it ties theory to contemporary world events and media discourses through a series of examples and case studies. The book offers an analytical toolkit to critically understand media narratives of representation, participation and production and to challenge our perceptions of our selves and society. It will be fascinating reading for students in media and communications, politics, sociology, human geography and cultural studies.

Producing media solidarities

Producing media solidarities

In May 2016, Migrant Tales, a blog about migration and multiculturalism, published a story on mistreatment of asylum seekers in a reception centre in Kolari, a small town close to the Arctic circle, North of Finland. The Kolari reception centre was referred to as a ‘living hell’ in a story that covered the experiences of several asylum seekers who had arrived in Finland with thousands of others across Europe in 2015. The blog published amateur videos and pictures from inside the centre where the asylum seekers held placards asking for human rights and help from the public (see Figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1 Image taken by an asylum seeker inside the reception centre, published in Migrant Tales.

According to the story ...

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