Alter-Globalisation and Alternative Media

The role of transnational alternative policy groups

Authored by: William K. Carroll

The Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415644044
eBook ISBN: 9781315717241
Adobe ISBN: 9781317509417


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Within contemporary capitalist democracies, movements and media are interdependent actors. In a media-saturated world, “the political” and “politics” are “articulated through, and dependent on”, media that both reflect and constitute social practice (Dahlberg and Phelan, 2011: 4–5). Media, no less than social movements, comprise “a pivotal site for broader political and cultural struggles” at the “seam” between system and lifeworld (Hackett and Carroll, 2006: 203). Alternative media in particular are seen by many analysts as key actors in the formation of the counterpublics that sustain oppositional politics (e.g. Milioni, 2009; Groshek and Han, 2011; Kelly, 2011). Community radio, alternative newspapers, internet initiatives and the like provide communicative infrastructure for discussions, debates and (sometimes) consensus formation outside and beyond the mainstream. Such media give voice to alternative perspectives and social visions and nurture radical sensibilities. By underwriting a “radical habitus” (Crossley, 2003), they help sustain subaltern communities as potential collective actors. In all these aspects of alternative media, social movements figure integrally. As Bob Hackett and I have suggested (Carroll and Hackett, 2006; Hackett and Carroll, 2006), alternative media comprise part of a variegated movement politics of media democratisation, which offers a communicative nexus for a fledging counter-hegemonic political assemblage.

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