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Negotiating Identity and Transnationalism

Middle Eastern and North African Communication and Critical Cultural Studies

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Edited by Haneen Ghabra, Fatima Zahrae Chrifi Alaoui, Shadee Abdi and Bernadette Marie Calafell

At the heart of Communication and Critical Cultural Studies is a discipline that has been slowly expanding its borders around the issues of racism, sexism, ability, privilege, and oppression. As Latinx, African American, Asian Pacific American, Disability and LGBTQ Studies widen and shift the scope of Communication Studies, what often gets underplayed is the role of transnational Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Studies. It is imperative that the experiences of transnational individuals who live and move between the region and the U.S. are centered. For this reason, the goal of this book is to begin to bring Middle Eastern and North African Communication and Critical Cultural Studies in conversation with Global and Transnational Studies. We ask, how can scholars make a space for transnational MENA Studies within Communication and Cultural Studies? What are the pressing issues? Thus, at a time where Arabs, Arab Americans, Iranians, and Iranian Americans are under attack by Western media and governments, it is crucial to center their voices from a transnational perspective that privileges their positionalities and experiences rather than continue to study them from a reductive Eurocentric lens. We seek to build on existing scholarship by including essays that theorize from a Communication and Critical Cultural Studies lens. This book aims to bring together work by established and new or emerging scholars.

Negotiating Identity and Transnationalism is suitable for academic researchers, scholars, students and activists in the fields of critical performative studies, cultural studies, rhetoric, feminist studies, queer studies, intercultural studies, social justice and media studies. The book can be taught in classes such as Media & Society, Intercultural Communication, Intersectional Feminism, Cultural Studies, Rhetoric and others.

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Spaces of New Colonialism

Reading Schools, Museums and Cities in the Tumult of Globalization

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Edited by Cameron McCarthy, Koeli Moitra Goel, Ergin Bulut, Warren Crichlow, Brenda Nyandiko Sanya and Bryce Henson

Spaces of New Colonialism is an edited volume of 16 essays and interviews by prominent and emerging scholars who examine how the restructuring of capitalist globalization is articulated to key sites and institutions that now cut an ecumenical swath across human societies. The volume is the product of sustained, critical rumination on current mutations of space and material and cultural assemblages in key institutional flashpoints of contemporary societies undergoing transformations sparked by neoliberal globalization. The flashpoints foregrounded in this edited volume are concentrated in the nexus of schools, museums and the city. The book features an intense transnational conversation within an online collective of scholars who operate in a variety of disciplines and speak from a variety of locations that cut across the globe, north and south. Spaces of New Colonialism began as an effort to connect political dynamics that commenced with the Arab spring and uprisings and protests against white-on-black police violence in US cities to a broader reading of the career, trajectory and effects of neoliberal globalization.

Contributors look at key flashpoints or targets of neoliberalism in present-day societies: the school, the museum and the city. Collectively, they maintain that the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit movement in England marked a political maturation, not a mere aberration, of some kind—evidence of some new composition of forces, new and intensifying forms of stratification, ultimately new colonialism—that now distinctively characterizes this period of neoliberal globalization.

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Movements for Change

How Individuals, Social Media and Al Jazeera Are Changing Pakistan, Egypt and Tunisia

Rauf Arif

This book explores social media as an alternative channel of communication and resistance in Pakistan, Tunisia and Egypt, and argues that the term "Arab Spring" limits the scope of acknowledgement for the ongoing online and offline political uprisings in the Muslim World, which started beyond the geographical boundaries of the Middle East. Beginning with an exploration of the pivotal role of Al Jazeera and how it used social media content from protestors to make the uprisings a global conversation, this book takes readers through an overview of creative political protests in each of the three case countries, before delving into an in-depth examination of a specific icon that sparked each revolution in question, and an overview of social movements and the politico-cultural context in each country. In closing, this book offers an understanding on how the new collective memories of nations using social media to protest will affect future generations who are striving to rise against authoritarian regimes, including the Algerian Spring that is ongoing in 2019.

This book can appeal to a wide range of audiences, both inside and outside the academic world. Within academia, courses covering topics such as social media, social movements, comparative politics, Middle Eastern studies and global communication could use this book as a learning tool. In non-academic settings, journalism practitioners could benefit from this book to examine how social media can be an alternate media in the absence of traditional media, and how traditional news media outlets can collaborate with and utilize social media to perform their journalistic duty in oppressive regimes.

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Alternative Spaces/Transformative Places

Democratizing Unruliness in an Age of Austerity

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Joshua D. Atkinson and Clayton Rosati

Alternative Spaces/Transformative Places addresses the rise of unruly spaces in society, as well as communicative strategies that citizens and activists may use to democratize them. With the widespread use of austerity measures by governments and cities, unruly spaces are an increasing fixture in our modern world. Cities such as Flint and Detroit in Michigan, Berlin in Germany, and even regions of rural America, have all been damaged by the neoliberal policies that have left cityscapes and physical environments altered and unrecognizable. We now understand that unruliness has become a constant in contemporary globalized society.

As such austerity has degraded infrastructure, depleted local economies, and poisoned neighborhoods, we feel citizens must be empowered to reclaim such unruly spaces themselves. The book explores different strategies for the democratization of such spaces in urban environments, and the potential and problems of each. Such strategies can create alternative perceptions and alter pathways through those spaces—even connect communities hidden from one another.

Students and scholars of urban communication and community activism, as well as human geography, will find the concepts and strategies explored in this book useful. The discussions related to austerity measures provide context for many contemporary neighborhoods and communities that have come to be neglected, while the chapters concerning unruly spaces provide explanations for the difficulty with such neglected or degraded environments. Finally, the illustration of different communicative strategies for the democratization of unruly spaces will demonstrate the possibilities for empowerment within communities that face such problems.

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Marouf Hasian, Jr.

Decolonizing Ebola Rhetorics Following the 2013-2016 West African Ebola Outbreak defends the position that, despite the supposed "lessons" that have been learned about the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) after the 2013-2016 West African Ebola outbreak, there remains a need to "decolonize" the rhetorics of Ebola prevention and containment. The author asserts that the failure of governments, aid organizations, and global media to confront the structural and material legacies of colonialism in West Africa will prevent global communities from adequately dealing with sporadic Ebola outbreaks. Central to the book’s argument is that far too many communities in the "global North" are unwilling to spend the hundreds of billions of dollars that are needed for the prevention of endemic and epidemic diseases in the "global South." Instead of coping with the impoverished legacies of colonialism, organizations like the World Health Organization support the use of small groups of "Ebola hunters" who swoop down during crises and put out EVD outbreaks using emergency health techniques. The author demonstrates how Western-oriented ways of dealing with EVD have made it difficult to convince West African populations—wary of emergency interventions after a long history of colonial medical experimentation in Africa--that those in the West truly care about the prevention of the next Ebola outbreak. Decolonizing Ebola Rhetorics ultimately argues that as long as global journalists and elite public health officials continue to blame bats, bushmeat, or indigenous burial practices for the spread of Ebola, the necessary decolonization of Ebola rhetorics will be forestalled. The author concludes the book by offering critiques of the real lessons that are learned by those who try to securitize or military Ebola containment efforts.

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Pin Up! The Subculture

Negotiating Agency, Representation & Sexuality with Vintage Style

Kathleen M. Ryan

Dangerous. Sexy. All-American—or rather All-World—Girl. Pin Up! The Subculture is the first ever book to explore the contemporary international subculture of pin up, women (and men) who embrace vintage style, but not vintage values.

Award-winning filmmaker and author Kathleen M. Ryan spent more than 5 years in the subculture. It’s a world of cat eye makeup, carefully constructed hairstyles, and retro-inspired fashions. But it’s also a world that embraces the ideals of feminism. Beauty, according to the pin up, is found not in body type or skin color, but in the confidence and sexual agency of the individual. Pin ups see their subculture as a way to exert empowerment and control of their own sexual and social identities—something that is part of the pin up’s historical legacy.

The lavishly illustrated book includes interviews with more than 50 international pin ups, and helps readers to understand how they use social media and personal interactions to navigate thorny issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, sizeism, and other difficult topics. Ryan demonstrates how even within subcultures, identity is far from homogeneous. Pin ups use the safety of their shared subcultural values to advocate for social and political change.

A fascinating combination of cultural history, media studies, and oral history, Pin Up! The Subculture is the story about how a subculture is subverting and reviving an historic aesthetic for the twenty-first century.

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Brian Michael Goss

The Rise of Weaponized Flak in the New Media Era presents the first book-length examination of flak as a form of political harassment, authored by a seasoned researcher on political discourse and mass media. Flak against news media was a component of the Edward Herman-Noam Chomsky seminal "Propaganda Model." However, in the thirty years since the model was introduced, flak has become an increasingly significant and prevalent sociopolitical force in its own right, in large part for the proliferation of new media platforms. Flak is not simply good faith or tough criticism. Rather, flak discourses and actions go on attack for the purpose of delegitimizing, disabling, and even criminalizing political foes, however tendentiously. The book presents cross-disciplinary appeal for students and scholars of mass media, new media, political science, and sociology—as well as for anyone concerned with today’s sociopolitical environment.

Given the book’s seminal examination of the topic, the introductory chapters in Part I extensively map out flak’s current forms and delineate similarities and distinctions from scandal and activism. Newly-minted terminology is introduced to flesh-out contemporary flak (for example, flak-in-discourse, boutique flak, phantom flak).

The balance of the book is organized around case studies of flak mills (Part II) and flak issues (Part III). In particular, Part II drills down into the flak discourses and techniques of dedicated flak mills that characterize themselves as, respectively, journalistic and think tank organizations. Part III of the book features case studies of flak around elections and universities in the United States.

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Working in the Margins

Domestic and International Minority Women in Higher Education

Edited by Carolyn "Carolina" Rosas Webber

The major theme for this book is that differences in identity continue to matter in all aspects of culture including the classroom and academic workplace. Women in academia continue to experience racism, ethnocentrism, nativism, sexism, and classism in higher education. Working in the Margins is an edited volume comprised of works by domestic and international communication scholars of diverse backgrounds in citizenship, language, ethnicity, race, class and educational heritage (first or second generation college educated). The title of this collection is a double entendre of the marginal place the contributors occupy in U.S. systems of higher education and how they reclaim these ascribed positions by invoking their bodies as text and communicating their stories of difference. Each chapter draws on critical and feminist perspectives and also intersectionality to develop critical strategies for teaching, surviving and/or thriving in higher education. The authors use autoethnography and other forms of storytelling to illuminate how they work in the margins of their difference to transform student learning and minority experiences in higher education. This volume is an excellent resource for undergraduate and graduate students, educators, and administrators in various fields of study, and particularly communication, education and ethnic studies. It is an important volume for students and scholars seeking to understand complex relationships among communication, identity, and power; seeing critical pedagogy at work; and using qualitative methodology. It is a highly recommended book for women and people of color transitioning from graduate school to professional academic positions.

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Edited by Ömer Aydinlioglu

Advertising is a broad concept and has an ever-shifting nature. The methods and strategies are differing day by day. The practice fields of advertising vary relatively and largely, and the consumers of today like Y and Z generations make it necessary for the corporations to take the essential precautions. Against the current conjunctures and fluctuations in technology, economy and politics, advertising is one of the key concepts that the corporations focus on. In this sense, the book gathers 12 different chapters related to advertising. The chapters contain valuable and up-to-date information on advertising. This study will not only broaden the reader’s horizon but also fulfil the increasing need in the field of contemporary advertising.

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Transmission and Transgression

The History of Rock 'n' Roll on Television

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Gary Kenton

When MTV (Music Television channel) was established in 1981, an executive claimed that they had "integrated the most powerful forces in our two decades, TV and rock ‘n’ roll." In fact, this problematic relationship began in the mid-1950s, when the advent of rock ‘n’ roll represented a musical and cultural revolution. The backlash against the music and the youth culture from which it emanated, described here as "rockaphobia," was reflected in a process of adulteration, racism, and co-optation by television programmers, spearheaded by American Bandstand. This interplay between rock ‘n’ roll and television played a significant role in alienating baby boomers from the mainstream, motivating them to create their own countercultural identity. This social migration helped to delineate the boundaries that would be identified in the 1960s as the generation gap.

Transmission and Transgression uses an interdisciplinary approach informed by media ecology, the theoretical framework which recognizes that each communication technology, or medium, creates its own unique environment, independent of content. This analysis allows the author to identify inherent technological and sensory incompatibilities between the medium of television and the cultural practice of rock ‘n’ roll, and to place these tensions within the broader shift of physiological emphasis from the traditional, tribal world dominated by the ear to the modern world which privileges the eye. Even in its remediated, diluted form, rock music has occupied a significant niche on television, and this book is the most comprehensive summary, celebration, and analysis of that history.