Edited By Leah A. Lievrouw
The chapters in this collection, chosen from among the top papers presented in London, suggest that the challenges themselves are constantly being reinvented, broken down and reorganized. The communication discipline undergoes continuous change rather than following an orderly, stepwise path toward the neat, complete accumulation of knowledge. The chapters challenge familiar approaches, notions or assumptions in communication research and scholarship and reflect on the field’s multifaceted and increasingly open character in an era of shifting social relations, formations and technologies.
Chapter Two: Critiquing “Neoliberalism”: Three Interrogations and a Defense
| 27 →
Three Interrogations and a Defense
Looked at broadly, we can identify two distinct discourses about neoliberalism2 in communication and media studies and elsewhere. The first deploys the term to enact a familiar critical narrative, where neoliberalism signifies a social order dominated by the logic of the market. This narrative has been given different inflections in communication and media research. Neoliberalism has functioned as a descriptive and explanatory category in analyses of topics such as infotainment (Thussu, 2007), media ownership (Herman & McChesney, 1997), multiculturalism (Lentin & Titley, 2011), reality television (Ouellette & Hay, 2008), political marketing (Savigny, 2008), intellectual property rights (Hesmondhalgh, 2008), and the cultural politics of voice (Couldry, 2010). Others have examined the communicative dynamics of “free market” regimes without explicitly deploying the term “neoliberalism” (Aune, 2001). More generally, the role of media and communication practices in the ideological constitution of neoliberalism is taken for granted in the wider literature (see Birch & Mykhnenko, 2010; Harvey, 2005).
Yet, the authority of neoliberalism as a critical signifier has been interrogated by a second discourse. This critique has sometimes been made by those distancing themselves from critical research traditions, in some cases defending their work against the charge of ideological complicity with neoliberalism. However, frustration with the open-ended scope of the term has also been articulated by those who retain a clear commitment to interrogating what might otherwise be...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.