Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media: Abstracts [R]

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Race & Ethnicity Studies and Citizen Media

Gavan Titley, Maynooth University, Ireland

Long vexed by the ways in which social theory marginalizes questions of race, the porous field of Race and Ethnicity Studies has in turn minimized the question of media, beyond an established focus on the politics of representation. While such international scholarly organizations as the ICA, IAMCR and ECREA all have permanent sections examining questions of race and ethnicity in the media, the impact of these research traditions is more pronounced in Media and Communication Studies than the broad cultural-sociological field of Race and Ethnicity. Nevertheless, the expansive definition of citizen media that underpins this entry (Baker and Blaagaard 2016) provides an interesting space in which to consider how the field has engaged with the media self-organization of racialized actors in historical and sociological context. This entry examines research on (a) media platforms produced within the context of migratory networks and marginalized communities that seek to establish not just communal but alternative and counter political media spaces and (c) citizen media initiatives that seek to intervene in the flow of racialized representation and framing that remains stubbornly resilient in dominant media discourse. On this basis, the entry focuses on recent and emerging research that examines the possibilities of networked, platform media for forms of ‘talking back’ and mobilization, from ‘ambient’ anti-racism in social media, to the affective publics of protest formations, to sustained media initiatives animated by anti-racist, decolonial and multicultural politics.


Baker, M. and B. B. Blaagaard (2016) ‘Receonceptualizing Citizen Media: A preliminary charting of a complex domain’, in M. Baker and B. B. Blaagaard (eds) Citizen Media and Public Spaces: Diverse Expressions of Citizenship and Dissent, London and New York: Routledge, 1-22.

Cohen, P. & C. Gardner (1982) It Ain’t Half Racist, Mum: Fighting racism in the media, London: Comedia in conjunction with Campaign Against Racism in the Media.

González, J. and J. Torres (2011) News for All the People: the epic story of race and the American media, London and New York: Verso.

Titley, G. (2018 forthcoming) Racism and Media.


Owen Gallagher, National College of Art and Design, Ireland and Bahrain Polytechnic

Remediation broadly refers to the representation of one medium within another medium, often, in practice, leading to the incorporation of the ‘old’ into the ‘new’. This process can occur in a number of different ways, from the faithful adaptation or translation of a text into another media form, to the improvement, refashioning, absorption or repurposing of content into a more advanced technological state. This can have the effect of causing the medium of consumption to become either more transparent or more opaque, highlighting its relative immediacy or hypermediacy, respectively.

The theory of remediation is important within the sphere of citizen media because non-affiliated citizens are increasingly expressing themselves publicly using remediated content such as remixes, memes, mashups and bricolage. The figure of the independent remixer or meme-artist has become representative of a cultural desire to ‘talk back’ to the media, to politicians and big business, to highlight injustices, expose irresponsible behaviour and engage in various forms of socio-political action, potentially inspiring real change.

This entry considers the role of remediation in citizen media, focusing on a number of relevant examples and case studies from the past decade where newer forms of remix have been used to engage in political discourse or support social action. For example, critical remix video has emerged as an extremely potent form of citizen media production through its remediation of existing source material in order to critically engage with ideological biases and highlight perceived wrongs. The Cambridge Dictionary offers an alternative definition of remediation as “the process of improving or correcting a situation”, which, as this entry shows, is precisely what citizen-engaged remix aims to do.


Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin (2000) Remediation: Understanding new media, Cambridge: MIT Press.

Deuze, Mark (2006) ‘Participation, Remediation, Bricolage: Considering principal components of a digital culture’, The Information Society 22(2): 63-75.

Jenkins, Henry (2006) Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, New York:  NYU Press.

Jenkins, Henry et al. (2017) ‘Participatory Politics’, in Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher and xtine burrough (eds) Keywords in Remix Studies, New York: Routledge, pp.230-245.

McLuhan, Marshall (1994) Understanding Media: The extensions of man, Cambridge: MIT Press.

Navas, Eduardo, Owen Gallagher and xtine burrough (2015) ‘Section IV: Politics’, in Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher and xtine burrough (eds) The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies, New York: Routledge, pp.321-408.