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Audiences and publics: reflections on the growing importance of mediated participation

Livingstone, Sonia (2015) Audiences and publics: reflections on the growing importance of mediated participation. In: Coleman, Stephen and Moss, Giles and Parry, Katy, (eds.) Can the Media Serve Democracy? Essays in Honour of Jay G. Blumler. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, pp. 132-140. ISBN 9781137467911

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Who are the people addressed by the media – audiences, readers, consumers, citizens, the public? Academic discourse has often favoured pejorative terms, construing them as mindless, privatized and inconsequential; media, governmental and policy discourses have tended to follow suit. This chapter celebrates the work of Jay Blumler, long-time advocate of a more laudatory conception of audiences as publics: thoughtful, civic-minded, reflexive about the collective consequences of media engagement. This matters because it invites a nuanced empirical investigation of how people construct identities, find shared concerns and express voice through their responses to media, and because elite discourses about ‘the everyday’ tend to reinforce top-down social control. Instead, Jay Blumler has sought to recognise the descriptive and normative potential of a lively, diverse and deliberative mediated public sphere.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2015 14:07
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2018 00:00

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