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Cultural Politics, Communications & Media

Organisational unit: Research Group

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Politics doesn’t just happen in parties and parliaments, nor does it only happen during elections. We look at how politics is a pervasive force in our lives outside those spaces and times. In doing so we explore the everyday nature of power, its lived experience as oppression and privilege; we examine the importance of identity, its formation and politicisation and how these deeply felt modes of difference and similarity structure the contemporary socio-political landscape; we interrogate ideology and the way it takes shape in the complex networked fora of the digital.

In all these examples, the role of the media and the importance of culture are central, and we approach these core areas of inquiry from a variety of different socio-cultural locations and through a range of theoretical perspectives. Our research looks at the way social movements form and what conditions enable their success or limit their capacity to change society. We look at how critical theory opens a window on power relations: how they are formed, sustained and challenged. We ask practical questions about regulation and governance of these fields, particularly as digital technologies present new challenges for established models of understanding. We demonstrate the way that media and politics connect at the psychological and behavioural levels, but also how individual experience of political affect can be aggregated into potent collectivities.

Our research group draws on deep and varied wells of expertise in political science, cultural studies, media theory, media regulation, journalism, psychology, area studies and more. Individual scholars will often have expertise across more than one of these fields leading to vibrant collaborations and productive interdisciplinarity. 

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