Orgad, Shani and Seu, Bruna (2013) The mediation of humanitarianism: towards a research framework. Communication, Culture and Critique . ISSN 1753-9129 (In Press)
The role of mediated narratives and images of distant suffering in cultivating moral response has provoked lively debate within and outside academia. In particular, since the mid-1990s, in the light of “uncivil wars” and the “crisis of humanitarianism”, studies have sought to address the apparent gap between the mediation of humanitarianism – the intense visibility of humanitarian disasters and distant suffering in the globally mediated space – and the lack of commensurate response - action to alleviate that suffering, specifically by western publics. The paper examines existing research in this area, identifying two central strands, namely philosophically-oriented accounts and empirical studies of text, audience and production. The discussion evaluates their contributions, limitations and lacunas. Based on this critical review, we suggest a research framework that simultaneously builds on and departs from existing work and can help to expand and strengthen a programme of research on the mediation of humanitarianism. This framework highlights the importance of: (1) studying mediated humanitarianism as a multi-sited dialectical process; (2) moving away from prescriptive normativity to studying how the mediation of humanitarianism is experienced, affected and negotiated; and (3) “undoing” despair as the motivation and consequent impulse of critique of the mediation of humanitarianism.
|Additional Information:||© 2013 © 2013 International Communication Association|
|Library of Congress subject classification:||H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)|
|Sets:||Departments > Media and Communications|
|Date Deposited:||29 Oct 2013 12:03|
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