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Media Representation and the Global Imagination

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Shani Orgad
Polity (October 2012)

This book is a clear, systematic, original and lively account of how media representations shape the way we see our and others’ lives in a global age. It provides in-depth analysis of a range of international media representations of disaster, war, conflict, migration and celebration.

The book explores how images, stories and voices, on television, the Internet, and in advertisements and newspapers, invite us to relocate to distant contexts, and to relate to people who are remote from our daily lives, by developing ‘mediated intimacy’ and focusing on the self. It also explores how these representations shape our self-narratives.

Orgad examines five sites of media representation – the other, the nation, possible lives, the world and the self. She argues that representations can and should contribute to fostering more ambivalence and complexity in how we think and feel about the world, our place in it and our relation to far-away others.

Media Representations and the Global Imagination will be of particular interest to students and scholars of media and cultural studies, as well as sociology, politics, international relations, development studies and migration studies.

  • Dr Shani Orgad is senior lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE.

Purchase this book from the publishers|


'This valuable book connects the scholarship on the social power of the imagination with the hitherto separate literature on new media technologies, audience formation and global mediation. In doing so it enriches both these fields while building some new bridges between them. It will be widely appreciated by anthropologists, media scholars and students of the cultural dynamics of globalization.'
Arjun Appadurai, New York University

'Shani Orgad has written a readable, theoretically sophisticated book about media representation in a global world. By showing the complexity and ambiguity of texts and interpretation, she deftly avoids the twin problems of absolute domination and complete resistance that have characterized the literature. Based on a smart selection of cases, she carefully dissects the struggles over imagining a global world. Highly recommended to anyone interested in state-of-the-art analysis about media resources used to envision what "global" means.'
Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University

'We live in a global and media age, a time when how we imagine the world is and could yet be, can, potentially and actually, enter into the course and conduct of that same world. Shani Orgad illuminates and intelligently reflects on this most crucial and consequential interplay between media representation and global imagination. A book for our times.'
Simon Cottle, Cardiff University

Public Event

On: Monday 18 February 2013 from 6.30-8pm in the Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Dr Shani Orgad, Professor Saskia Sassen, and Laurie Taylor.

Marking the publication of Shani Orgad's latest book Media Representation and the Global Imagination, the panel will discuss how the way we imagine the world and its 'others' is nourished by the media, and how the media can offer different images and accounts from the ones we encounter.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, click here|.


Media Representation and the Global Imagination