Media and Participation

A Site of Ideological-Democratic Struggle

Nico Carpentier

Media and Participation
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Nico Carpentier

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

405 pages | 7 x 9 | © 2011
Paper $28.50 ISBN: 9781841504070 Published June 2011
Participation has become fashionable again, but at the same time it has always played a crucial role in our contemporary societies, and it has been omnipresent in a surprisingly large number of societal fields. In the case of the media sphere, the present-day media conjuncture is now considered to be the most participatory ever, but media participation has had a long and intense history. To deal with these paradoxes, this book looks at participation as a structurally unstable concept and as the object of a political-ideological struggle that makes it oscillate between minimalist and maximalist versions. This struggle is analysed in theoretical reflections in five fields (democracy, arts, development, spatial planning and media) and in eight different cases of media practice. These case studies also show participation’s close connection to power, identity, organization, technology and quality.



Chapter 1: Defining Participation: An Interdisciplinary Overview
     1. Democratic theory and participation
     2. Beyond democratic theory
     3. Audience participation and communication (rights)
Chapter 2: Keyword – Power
     1. A conceptual introduction
     2. Case 1: Management in the north Belgian audience discussion
     programme Jan Publiek
     3. Case 2 : Barometer and the post-political
Chapter 3: Keyword – Identity
     1. A conceptual introduction
     2. Case 1: The construction of ordinary people in
     Jan Publiek
     3. Case 2: Temptation Island – reality TV and minimalist participation
Chapter 4: Keyword –Organization
     1. A conceptual introduction
     2. Case 1: BBC’s Video Nation
     3. Case 2: RadioSwap
Chapter 5: Keyword-Technology
     1. A conceptual introduction
     2. Case: KinoautomatOne man and his house. The lack of uptake of
     participatory technology
Chapter 6: Keyword – Quality
     1. A conceptual introduction
     2. Case 1: 16plus, Barometer and the rejection of participatory products
     3. Case 2: Alternative and community media constructions of quality:
     Negotiated quality
Chapter 7: A Short Conclusion


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