£18.99 | $34.95
8 November 2012
216mm x 138mm
Human Rights, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Politics
Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights
Edited by Tristan Anne Borer
What impact do mass media portrayals of atrocities have on activism? Why do these news stories sometimes mobilize people, while at other times they are met with indifference? Do different forms of media have greater or lesser impacts on mobilization? These are just some of the questions addressed in Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights, which investigates the assumption that exposure to human rights violations in countries far away causes people to respond with activism.
Turning a critical eye on existing scholarship, which argues either that viewing and reading about violence can serve as a force for good (through increased activism) or as a source of evil (by objectifying and exploiting the victims of violence), the authors argue that reality is far more complex, and that there is nothing inherently positive or negative about exposure to the suffering of others. In exploring this, the book offers an array of case studies: from human rights reporting in Mexican newspapers to the impact of media imagery on humanitarian intervention in Somalia; from the influence of celebrity activism to the growing role of social media.
By examining a variety of media forms, from television and radio to social networking, the interdisciplinary set of authors present radical new ways of thinking about the intersection of media portrayals of human suffering and activist responses to them.
'In a global media age communications are pivotal in the mobilization of human rights around the world, especially when denied in atrocious acts of inhumanity. This timely, insightful book throws a critical spotlight on mediated suffering, its power and performance.'
Professor Simon Cottle, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University
'Tristan Anne Borer has done a great service for both academics and activists by summarizing research on the world's 'failure to act' in the face of human rights atrocities. Case studies serve to illuminate when inaction has been a news production or an audience reception problem, and point out not only immensely valuable lessons for educators and NGOs, but needed arenas for future study.'
Professor Susan Moeller, author of Packaging Terrorism: Co-opting the News for Politics and Profit
'Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights is the book that scholars in the humanities and human rights have been waiting for. Together, its contributors push perennial questions about the relationship between violence and the image, between seeing and acting, and between the aspirations and the limits of cosmopolitanism to new levels of understanding. Theoretically sophisticated and historically substantial, the eminently readable essays in this volume employ impeccable close readings and analysis, case studies, and empirical evidence to advance powerful conclusions regarding the role of the media and cultural texts in struggles for recognition of global suffering and, alternatively, for building cultures of human rights.'
Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg, associate professor, Babson College, Massachusetts
Table of Contents
Introduction: willful ignorance - news production, audience reception, and responses to suffering
1 Humanitarian intervention in the 1990s: cultural remembrance and the reading of Somalia as Vietnam
2 Framing a rights ethos: artistic media and the dream of a culture without borders
3 How editors choose which human rights news to cover: a case study of Mexican newspapers
4 Framing strategies for economic and social rights in the United States
5 ‘Fresh, wet tears’: shock media and human rights awareness campaigns
6 Celebrity diplomats as mobilizers? Celebrities and activism in a hypermediated time
7 Amplifying individual impact: social media’s emerging role in activism
8 The spectacle of suffering and humanitarian intervention in Somalia
About the Author:
Tristan Anne Borer (BA, University of Texas at San Antonio; PhD, University of Notre Dame) is professor of government and international relations at Connecticut College in New London, CT. She is the author of Challenging the State: Churches as Political Actors in South Africa, 1980-1994 (1998), the editor of Telling the Truths: Truth-Telling and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Societies (2006), and the co-author (with John Darby and Siobhan McEvoy-Levy) of Peacebuilding After Peace Accords: The Challenges of Violence, Truth and Youth (2006). She has also published several articles in the field of human rights in journals including Human Rights Quarterly, Journal of Human Rights, Violence Against Women, African Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Church and State. Her research has been funded by the Joan Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the United States Institute of Peace.
- Peter Watt (co-author of 'Drug War Mexico') talks to the Real News Network about the organized crime problems facing Mexico
- Politics in the Congo: Theodore Trefon (Congo Masquerade) speaks as part of the Cultural Knowledge Consortium Speaker Series
- John Young responds to Alex de Waal's review of his book 'The Fate of Sudan: The Origins and Consequences of a Flawed Peace Process'
- Democracy in the Americas after Chavez: Book launch of 'Cuba and its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion' with author Arnold August
- Audio recording from the launch of 'Race, Racism and Development' by Kalpana Wilson