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Alternative mediation, power and civic agency in Africa

Willems, Wendy (2015) Alternative mediation, power and civic agency in Africa. In: Atton, Chris, (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415644044

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Focusing on mediated civic agency and alternative mediation in Africa, this chapter aims to contribute to the broader debates on ‘dewesternising’, ‘internationalising’ or ‘decolonising’ the field of media, communication and cultural studies (Downing, 1996; Curran and Park, 2000; Abbas and Erni 2004; McMillin, 2006; Thussu, 2009; Shome 2009; Wang 2013). I will suggest that a broadening of terms may be useful in order to gain a fuller understanding of the multiple ways in which different forms of media are involved in resisting different forms of power. I will propose a shift from an analytical focus on ‘alternative media’ to ‘alternative mediation’, and from ‘civil society media’ to ‘mediated civic agency’. Such a shift, I will argue, enables us to appreciate a fuller spectrum of the different modes in which citizens have contested, opposed, or resisted power. Furthermore, it also helps us to understand these contestations in contexts in which Eurocentric forms of ‘civil society’ are not omnipresent, or are themselves part of crucial transnational power relations that have not always been put under critical scrutiny in academic literature.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Routledge
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2014 15:29
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 02:34

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