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The sociological imagination and media studies in neoliberal times

Orgad, Shani (2019) The sociological imagination and media studies in neoliberal times. Television and New Media. ISSN 1552-8316 (In Press)

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Over the last two decades, Television and New Media has provided a vital platform to explore the importance of media texts, technologies, institutions, practices and processes for normalizing inequality and injustice. One of the critical themes within this agenda, on which much of my own work has focused, concerns the role of narratives in sustaining relations of power and inequality. However, to date, media and communications studies mostly examine narratives either as stories that circulate in public discourse or as people’s personal narratives. In the context of deepening inequalities, the cementing of neoliberal rationality and the intensifying centrality of media and communication technologies in public and everyday life, connecting the two realms is a vital task. Drawing on C. Wright Mills’ The Sociological Imagination, I argue for and demonstrate the value of connecting what Mills famously called “the personal troubles of milieu” and “the public issues of social structure” in the study of current media and narrative. Analysis of how contemporary social and cultural narratives furnish and condition our most intimate personal troubles has a tragic aspect; that is, the realization that our lives are shaped by social forces not of our own making. Yet the intersection between media and cultural discourses and individuals’ sense-making of their experiences can open up possibilities for change and even resistance. Indeed, studying the relationship between social narratives and people’s personal narratives offers a way to link our understanding of social change to the critical media analysis which Television and New Media has been known for since the turn of the century.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2019 17:12
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2020 23:13

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