Urban Media as Infrastructure for Social Change

Authored by: Naomi Schiller

The Routledge Companion to Urban Media and Communication

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9780415792554
eBook ISBN: 9781315211633
Adobe ISBN:


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The aim of this chapter is to explore the ways that people in the Global South engage media in ways that foster social change. More than simply a metaphor for the groundwork that makes possible sociocultural transformation, I explore media as a form of infrastructure entangled with other forms of infrastructure. I draw attention to how media infrastructure—with its complex materialities, poetics, and content—is central to the constitution and governance of cities. This approach to media as urban infrastructure, I argue, not only allows us to theorize the way that media and cities are inextricably linked, but also allows us to identify and better understand the embeddedness of media in the processes of exchange, relationality, and power. Through engagements with and demands for infrastructure, people struggle over continuity and change in the city, and by extension, the broader society.

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