This is the 2021 PSA Media and Politics Annual Conference, which is hosted by the Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures at Canterbury Christ Church University. This is an online event taking place on 15 and 16 December 2021. The Conference Theme for this year is ‘Standing Together? Communities, Media and Politics’. Our Keynote Speakers are Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff University) and Professor Claire Wallace (University of Aberdeen).
Whether it denotes a city ‘standing together’ against terrorism, people reacting to racist acts, residents of a neighbourhood organising support mechanisms in the context of the pandemic, migrants setting up a new life away from their home countries, or protest groups attempting to effect some social change, the term ‘community’ has become a fitting notion to describe these and many other (literal or symbolic) gatherings of people.
A community can be defined by many characteristics, such as its context, its purpose or its identity. However, regardless of their particular features, communities are underpinned by one element that defines them and the social relations that exist within and around them: the community’s relations to power. Despite the traditional views of community as places of harmony and solidarity, tensions and disputes are rife within any social group, while individualism, self-interests, poverty, violence and fear remain a reality. Wherever there are social relations and interdependencies, there are also power imbalances that contribute to the emergence of divisions within the social fabric.
One of the social resources on which power is based is the privileged access to political discourse and communication. Despite the burgeoning literature that has examined the possibilities that social media provide for communities to challenge the trends imposed by mainstream media, there is a pervading need to uncover the complex and often subtle ways in which hegemonic power relations are discursively produced, and to examine the social, cultural or political wrongs that they sustain.
This conference will facilitate a space for thinking critically about the concept of communities and how it is used in political discourse and political communication in the digital and (post)pandemic context.
PSA members and non-members - £20
Students and unsalaried - £10
Please note: Booking for day 1 (15th December) will cover attendance for both days of the conference.