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Beyond normative dewesternization: examining media culture from the vantage point of the Global South

Willems, Wendy ORCID: 0000-0002-9185-4268 (2014) Beyond normative dewesternization: examining media culture from the vantage point of the Global South. The Global South, 8 (1). pp. 7-23. ISSN 1932-8648

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This article examines five dominant conceptualizations of “the Global South” in the field of media and communication studies, and more specifically in the subfields of (1) comparative media studies, (2) international communication or global media studies, and (3) development communication. Engaging with the broader calls made by a number of scholars since the early 2000s to “dewesternize,” “decolonize,” or “internationalize” the field, I argue that the Global South continues to be theorized from the vantage point of the Global North. Instead of understanding the Global South on its own terms, scholarship frequently appreciates the role of media and communication only insofar as it emerges from, represents the negative imprint of, or features the active intervention of the Global North. Such accounts have failed to acknowledge the agency of the Global South in the production, consumption, and circulation of a much richer spectrum of media culture that is not a priori defined in opposition to or in conjunction with media from the Global North. In advocating for a shift from media systems to media cultures, I hope to contribute to an approach that practices media and communication studies from the Global South, grounded in the everyday life experiences of ordinary people but always situated against the background of crucial processes such as neoliberalization, which have not only had drastic implications for the division of labor between the state and market in the area of media and communication but have also produced radical changes in the lives of the majority of people living in the Global South.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Indiana University Press
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 08 May 2015 14:34
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:56

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