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Media Production & Mis/Representations

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Dahya, N., and Jenson, J. (2015). Mis/Representations in School-Based Digital Media Production: An Ethnographic Exploration with Muslim Girls. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 9(2), 108-123.

Abstract: In this article, the authors discuss findings from a digital media production club with racialized girls in a low-income school in Toronto, Ontario. Specifically, the authors consider how student-produced media is impacted by ongoing postcolonial structures relating to power and representation in the school and in the media production work of Muslim and other racialized girls. From this standpoint, the authors interrogate how technological tools and particular media genres embedded in a postcolonial order impact the form and content of student media production in a school-based context. Focused on two in-depth examples from an ethnographic study, the authors question how Muslim and other racialized girls are portrayed in media they make and explore how that work is perceived and re/presented (or mis/represented) throughout the digital media production process.

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2011 to 2015

Identity & Belonging

Mis/Representations & Counter-Narratives

Feltwell, T., Vines, J., Salt, K., Blythe, M., Kirman, B., Barnett, J., Brooker, P., Lawson, S. (2017). Counter-Discourse Activism on Social Media: The Case of Challenging “Poverty Porn” Television. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 26(3), 345-385.

Abstract: In this paper we investigate how online counter-discourse is designed, deployed and orchestrated by activists to challenge dominant narratives around socio-political issues. We focus on activism related to the UK broadcast media’s negative portrayal of welfare benefit claimants; portrayals characterised as “poverty porn” by critics. Using critical discourse analysis, we explore two activist campaigns countering the TV programme Benefits Street. Through content analysis of social media, associated traditional media texts, and interviews with activists, our analysis highlights the way activists leverage the specific technological affordances of different social media and other online platforms in order to manage and configure counter-discourse activities. We reveal how activists use different platforms to carefully control and contest discursive spaces, and the ways in which they utilise both online and offline activities in combination with new and broadcast media to build an audience for their work. We discuss the challenges associated with measuring the success of counter-discourse, and how activists rely on combinations of social media analytics and anecdotal feedback in order to ascertain that their campaigns are successful. We also discuss the often hidden power-relationships in such campaigns, especially where there is ambiguity regarding the grassroots legitimacy of activism, and where effort is placed into controlling and owning the propagation of counter-discourse. We conclude by highlighting a number of areas for further work around the blurred distinctions between corporate advocacy, digilantism and grassroots activism.

Keywords: Social media activism, Counter-discourse, Grassroots activism, Critical discourse analysis; socio-political issues

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2016 to 2020

Identity & Belonging

Mis/Representations & Counter-Narratives

Fleetwood, N.R. (2005). Mediating Youth: Community-Based Video Production and the Politics of Race and Authenticity. Social Text, 23(1), 83-109.

Abstract: This essay examines the ways in which race & authenticity are asserted, contested, & reconstructed in the course of a video production project about youth life in San Francisco's Mission District. The article begins by discussing the origins of the project, organized by the Media Education Center (MEC), &the problems initially encountered. Then, through an examination of the on-the-ground process of the MEC summer workshop, the article explores the relationship between representations of racialized youth in US popular culture, local cultural practices, & ideologies of race & authenticity. The analysis reveals that struggles over representation & authenticity drove the collaborative process, & that many of the conflicts that arose during the summer workshop reflected larger struggles taking place in the Mission District at the time. These struggles were symbolic, representational, & geographic battles over territory. For example, the project coordinator's reason for initiating the project seemed to have much to do with her own attempts to negotiate a relationship as a white, middle-class artist to a neighborhood that had become the symbol of rampant gentrification & erasure of working-class nonwhites. Also, such video projects raise the question of youth assertiveness in the context of entrepreneurial exploitation of youth culture.

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2001 to 2005 

Identity & Belonging

Mis/Representations & Counter-Narratives

Kelly, D.M. (2006). Frame Work: Helping Youth Counter Their Misrepresentations in Media. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(1), 27-48.

Abstract: Drawing on several ethnographies with youth participants, I identified and critiqued three frames that help to comprise the mainstream media's larger framework of troubled and troubling youth: inner-city youth as "gang bangers"; teen mothers as "children having children" and "welfare bums"; and girls as fashion obsessed and impressionable. I considered the relationship between news coverage of youth and educational programs and curriculum and explored the possibilities and limits of various strategies aimed at producing and circulating diverse youth self-representations in the mainstream and alternative media, including involving youth as co-researchers

Keywords: News media, news reporting, mass media effects, ethnography, early parenthood, juvenile gangs, clothing, social influences, youth

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2006 to 2010

Identity & Belonging

Mis/Representations & Counter-Narratives

Lugo-Ocando, J. (2019). Poverty in the news media: Continuities, ruptures, and change in the reporting socioeconomic inequality. Sociology Compass, 7(13), e12719.

Abstract: This work attempts to offer a reflexive account of the key ideas and scholarly contributions developed over the years that provide elements for a theoretical explanatory framework regarding news media and poverty. In so doing, the article presents a general assessment of some of the key works in this area, while assessing the main notions, concepts, and contributions in this regard. The author points out at the fact that there is broad agreement among most scholars in relation to these issues while suggesting, nevertheless, that there are still some important pieces of the puzzle missing in our understanding about how the media engages with poverty and inequality.

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2016 to 2020

Identity & Belonging

Mis/Representations & Counter-Narratives

Perez Portilla, K. (2018). Challenging Media (Mis)Representation: An Exploration of Available Models. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 7(2), 4-20.

Abstract: This article is a theoretical analysis aimed at articulating the harm caused by media (mis)representation, and at showing existing ways in which this harm can be contested. The approaches analysed are largely from the United Kingdom. However, the issues they raise are not unique and the models explored are potentially transferable. The examples cover a range of media, including British right-wing press, television and Facebook; and characteristics protected by equality legislation in the UK such as sex, sexual orientation, race, religion and mental health stigma. Crucially, all the initiatives presented demonstrate the group-based nature of media (mis)representations, which cannot be understood and, therefore, cannot be addressed through individualistic approaches. Therefore, the article concludes that the role of groups as the targets of media (mis)representation and as potential claimants should be fully acknowledged and enabled.

Keywords: hate speech, organized civil society, media regulation, anti-hate campaigns, media stereotypes and stigma, British right-wing press

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2016 to 2020

Identity & Belonging

Mis/Representations & Counter-Narratives

Academic Literature
Media Production & Mis/Representations