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.

Introduction

Introduction

In the Spring of 2017 I stayed in London for three months to write this book. Those months were in many ways exceptional. At the end of May, a terror attack in Manchester Arena, at a concert of the American pop star, Ariana Grande, 23 people, mostly young girls and their parents, were killed. Two weeks following the attack in Manchester, another terror attack, involving a van that drove over pedestrians, killed eight people on London Bridge. The next attack was targeted against the Muslim population in Finsbury Park, North London, only two weeks later. And then, in June, the Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey block of public housing in West London burned down in a fire that started accidentally but spread rapidly due to ...

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