Race, ethnicity and the media

Absence, presence and socio-spatial reverberations

Authored by: Douglas L. Allen , Derek H. Alderman

Routledge Handbook of Media Geographies

Print publication date:  October  2021
Online publication date:  October  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367482855
eBook ISBN: 9781003039068
Adobe ISBN:


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Race/ethnicity and media (geographies) are inseparably intertwined. Media, in various forms (e.g. music, news media, film, social media, literature), work to internalize, diffuse, and legitimize particular racialized visions of social and place difference. Media are sets of practices, technologies and places for communicating (and exchanging) narratives, images and even seemingly innocuous information—all of which socially construct people’s identities in uneven and sometimes unjust ways (Craine 2007; Leszczynski 2015). The media does more than reflect racial and ethnic categories and hierarchies, but actively participates in their (re)production by selectively constructing and disseminating stories that essentialize the meaning of people, their lives and the places they inhabit, use and claim—often in ways that obscure the very social-spatial relations responsible for racial privilege and subordination.

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