Media and Political Engagement: Citizens, Communication and Democracy

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-02-23
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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One of the most difficult problems facing Western democracy today is the decline in citizens' political engagement. There are many elements that contribute to this, including fundamental socio-cultural changes. The book summarizes these contexts and situates itself within them, while focusing on the media's key role in shaping the character of civic engagement. In particular, it examines the new interactive electronic media in terms of their civic potential. Looking at the evolution of the media landscape, the book interrogates key notions such citizenship, public sphere, agency, identity, deliberation, and practice, and offers a multi-dimensional analytic framework called 'civic cultures'. This framework is then applied to several settings, including television, popular culture, journalism, the EU, and global activism, to illuminate the role of the media in deflecting and enhancing political engagement, as well as in contributing to new forms of political involvement and new understandings of what constitutes the political.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Protean Democracyp. 2
The Media Connectionp. 2
Useful Theoriesp. 3
Democracy and the Media: Three Traditionsp. 4
The Chapters Aheadp. 6
A Note on Terminologyp. 10
Democracy in Difficult Timesp. 12
Elusive Engagementp. 13
Structural Snapshotsp. 14
Socio-Cultural Turbulencep. 26
Civic Regeneration: Two Frontsp. 30
Media Alterationsp. 34
The Evolving Media Landscapep. 35
The Twilight of Journalism?p. 41
Political Communication in Fluxp. 48
The Late Modern Media: Logics of the Matrixp. 52
Citizens and Agencyp. 57
Citizenship: An Expansive Terrainp. 58
Becoming Citizens, Doing Citizenshipp. 68
The Knowledge Problem: Opinions and Expertsp. 76
Engagement, Deliberation, and Performancep. 80
Democracy, Engagement, and Passionp. 80
Deliberative Democracy - and Its Limitsp. 86
Civic Agency as Agonistic Performancep. 97
Civic Cultures: An Analytic Framep. 102
A Dynamic Circuitp. 102
Knowledge: Active Appropriationp. 108
Values: Substantive and Proceduralp. 110
Trust: Optimal and Directedp. 112
Spaces: Communicative Access and Contexts of Actionp. 114
Practices: Embodied Agency and Skillsp. 116
Identities: Heterogeneity, Empowerment, Communityp. 118
Civic Cultures, Networks, and the Media Matrixp. 123
Television and Popular Public Spheresp. 126
Television Logic and the Civic Idealp. 127
Popular Engagement: Locating Democracyp. 136
Television, Popular Culture, and Civic Culturep. 141
Internet and Civic Potentialp. 149
Taking Stock of the Net: Civic Horizonsp. 150
Public Spheres Online: Social Contexts and Media Logicp. 159
Online Practices and Civic Culturesp. 172
Journalism Transformed - To a Degreep. 172
NGOs as Civic EU Networksp. 181
Online Activism: Global Horizonsp. 190
Media Generationsp. 200
Referencesp. 203
Indexp. 229
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