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The Discursive-Material Knot

Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation

Nico Carpentier

The theoretical framework of the discursive-material knot consists out of a non-hierarchical ontology of the interactions of the discursive and the material, articulating the assemblages that are driven by this ontological setting as restless and contingent, sometimes incessantly changing shapes and sometimes being deeply sedimented. This book acknowledges the importance of discourse studies, in having produced a better understanding of the socio-political role of frameworks of intelligibility, and of materialism theory in highlighting the importance of the agentic role of materials. Still, the combination of the discursive and the material requires our attention in a much more fundamental way; that is where this book’s first platform aims to provide a contribution.

These ontological-theoretical reflections are not produced in a void, but they are put to work in this book, first in platform two, which consists of a discursive-material re-reading of three theoretical fields, dealing with practices that are all highly relevant in contemporary democracies: participation, community media and conflict (transformation). Finally, in the third platform, this book turns its attention to a particular social reality, analyzing the logic of the discursive-material knot in the particular context of the Cyprus Problem. This case study fills a gap by bringing community media and conflict transformation together, through the analysis of the role of the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC), and its webradio MYCYradio, in contributing to the transformation of antagonism into agonism. Deploying a discursive-material analysis to study the participation and agonization (and their articulation) in CCMC/MYCYradio shows the complexity and richness of conflict transformation processes, in combination with the importance of organizations such as CCMC/MYCYradio for the betterment of society.

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Chapter 4: CCMC as a Participatory and Agonistic Assemblage


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In the last chapter, the attention is turned to the case study, which focuses on the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) and its community web radio station, MYCYradio. The previous two platforms have provided the theoretical and analytical toolkit for this case study’s discursive-material analysis. In the first platform, the ontology of the discursive-material knot is developed, which feeds into all other platforms, either by structuring the theoretical re-readings or by providing analytical support through the generation of primary and secondary sensitizing concepts. And of course, the discursive-material knot is the ontological setting in which the CCMC assemblage exists, entangling a particular variety of discourses and materials. The second platform combines a set of theoretical frameworks that deal with participation, community media organizations, conflict, and conflict transformation. A discursive-material analysis of these theoretical (sub)fields has relevance in its own right, because it attempts to enrich (sub)fields that frequently place a strong emphasis on one of two components of the discursive-material knot, often without sufficiently theorizing their ‘own’ component and without discussing its entanglement with the other component. But the theoretical discussions in Platform 2 also support the analysis of CCMC’s participatory and agonistic remit, as these theoretical re-readings provide the tertiary signifying ← 285 | 286 → concepts for this case study analysis. Finally, the third chapter of this book, which is part of the third platform, provides a discursive-material analyses of the Cyprus problem, and,...

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