Politics of Representation C.

Course convenor

Léna Pellandini-Simányi

Course content

The way social groups, themes and events are represented by the media is not a mere reflective description, but is constitutive of that very reality. The course focuses on this constitutive aspect of media representations and their power to shape and maintain social reality. The course looks at these issues through three key debates. The first debate centres on the limits of media power, and covers views from manipulation theory to the arguments on subversive, creative audiences. The second debate focuses on how exactly representations shape social reality, and looks at standpoints that range from the critique of biased representation to theories of performativity. The last thematic block looks at critical perspectives on media representations and explores different normative stances on what constitutes a just or morally acceptable representation. Throughout the seminars students will be encouraged to apply theories to media cases and to question the limits of their application.

Indicative reading

Butler, J. (1993).Bodies that matter : on the discursive limits of “sex”.New York : Routledge.

Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical analysis of media discourse. Media Discourse. London, Arnold.

Hall, S. (1997). Representation :cultural representations and signifying practices. London, Sage.

Macdonald, M. (2003). Discourse and representation.Exploring Media Discourse. London, Arnold.

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