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Community radio: encouraging the involvement of citizens in public spheres

Community radio: encouraging the involvement of citizens in public spheres

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Community radio: encouraging the involvement of citizens in public spheres

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  1. Community radio: encouraging the involvement of citizens in public spheres Peter Lewis London School of Economics

  2. Introduction • Hispanic-anglophone academic dialogue • objectives of the IREN project

  3. : “to identify what instances exist, and what potential there is, for radio’s use in encouraging the involvement of citizens in public spheres, locally, nationally and at a European level” (IREN Consortium Agreement 3.2.4)

  4. Introduction • Hispanic-anglophone academic dialogue • objectives of the IREN project • task is empirical, but also theoretical • a role for mainstream radio, but… • community radio is better at encouraging involvement in the public sphere • digital transmission not good news for community radio

  5. Theoretical tour d’horizon • No Holy Grail of a universal theory • no static relationship • a “shuttling back and forth”: test theory against • empirical data; interpret data in the light of theory

  6. Theoretical tour d’horizon public sphere Habermas Negt & Kluge Community Radio

  7. Public sphere • Habermas’s original concept needs modification • not one unitary, public sphere - counter or alternative public spheres co-exist • Community radio station a “common meeting ground” for overlapping, even conflicting, local public spheres • Hochheimer’s questions: , “who decides what are the legitimate voices to be heard?.. What happens when power, or people, become entrenched?” (Hochheimer 1993: 477)

  8. radical democracy Laclau &Mouffe public sphere Habermas Negt & Kluge Community Radio

  9. Radical democracy • Rodriguez (2001) draws on Mouffe’s notion of radical democracy • political action - an active striving in the socio-political arena by subjects attempting to transform relations of subordination • appropriate “discursive conditions” must precede political change (Laclau & Mouffe 1985: 153)

  10. collective action Melucci radical democracy Laclau &Mouffe public sphere Habermas Negt & Kluge Community Radio

  11. Collective action • Melucci’s work on the production of meaning in collective action (Melucci 1996) • “by what processes do actors construct their • actors able to define meaning • researchers need to reach agreement about the “basis of the knowledge formation” • implications for method - participatory research approach

  12. collective action Melucci conscientization Freire radical democracy Laclau &Mouffe public sphere Habermas Negt & Kluge Community Radio

  13. conscientization • a mutual search for words that have special meaning in the students’ experience thus allowing them to name their own reality, and break the “culture of silence” • collusive relationship between oppressors and oppressed • the stages of ‘codification’ and ‘decodification’ aim to transform the social reality – to become ‘subjects’ of their own destiny

  14. collective action Melucci conscientization Freire radical democracy Laclau &Mouffe hegemony Gramsci public sphere Habermas Negt & Kluge Community Radio

  15. hegemony • “An unstable, non-unitary field of relations where.. • ..strategic compromises are continually negotiated” (Atton, 2004: 10) • accepted as normal and unquestionable • counter-hegemony – post-Gramscian notion (cp. counter-pubic sphere) • ‘community’ as an ‘articulation’ (Hall) of different social actors and groups which is “neither necessary nor inevitable [but] rather…contingent and volatile…a unity of differences; a unity forged through symbol, ritual, language and discursive practices” (Howley 2005:6)

  16. collective action Melucci conscientization Freire radical democracy Laclau &Mouffe hegemony Gramsci public sphere Habermas Negt & Kluge Community Radio globalisation Giddens Castells

  17. globalisation • “the intensification of world-wide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa”(Giddens 1990:64) • The case of Indymedia, Internet radio and microradio (Coyer 2005) • “Community media permit analysts to interrogate the dynamics of global media culture in a local context” (Howley 2005:269

  18. collective action Melucci conscientization Freire radical democracy Laclau &Mouffe hegemony Gramsci public sphere Habermas Negt & Kluge Community Radio globalisation Giddens Castells social capital Bourdieu Putnam

  19. social capital • Putnam 2000 on social capital

  20. collective action Melucci conscientization Freire radical democracy Laclau &Mouffe hegemony Gramsci public sphere Habermas Negt & Kluge Community Radio globalisation Giddens Castells social capital Bourdieu Putnam identity Martin-Barbero Hall

  21. identity • Martin-Barbero on the problems of identity in modernity: “local identity is …compelled to transform itself into a marketable representation of difference” (Martin-Barbero 2002: 626). • “The contradictory movement of globalization and the fragmentation of culture simultaneously involves the revitalization and worldwide extension of the local” (ibid p.636). • Indigenous identities in the face of “their transformation into ‘modern countries’ (ibid. p.635)

  22. collective action Melucci conscientization Freire radical democracy Laclau &Mouffe hegemony Gramsci public sphere Habermas Negt & Kluge Community Radio globalisation Giddens Castells social capital Bourdieu Putnam identity Martin-Barbero Hall

  23. Everitt’s New Voices • Access Radio/Community Radio • provided primarily ..to deliver social gain [defined as including the following objectives: • reaching listeners who are underserved • facilitation of discussion and the expression of opinion • education or training for volunteers • better understanding of the community and the strengthening of links • delivery of services provided by local authorities • promotion of economic development and of social enterprises • the promotion of employment • gaining work experience • promotion of social inclusion • promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity • promotion of civic participation and volunteering

  24. Conclusion. If we are to give CR its proper attention, there will have to be transformations in Europe’s radio