Media, representation, imagination: Time to move beyond the ‘Holy Trinity’

Michael Skey

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The ways in which media frame existing and possible social worlds, and thereby contribute to moral debates, has been the subject of renewed interest in the social sciences over the past decade. Often tied to the increasingly global circulation of texts, images and ideas, much of the focus has been on the ability of media to represent the ‘other’ in ways that generate understanding and empathy, rather than fear and distrust. The two books under discussion, Tim Dant’s ‘Television and the Moral Imaginary’ and Shani Orgad’s ‘Media, Representation & the Global Imagination’ come at the broader topic from very different angles, but are also more or less interested in how media shape understandings of self and other in an increasingly complex social environment. In reviewing these titles, I also want to make some wider points about how the link between media and imagination has been conceptualised and grounded and to contrast some of these efforts with recent work that has called for a move beyond representational theories and, indeed, media-centric theories of media (Couldry, 2012, Moores, 2012, Pink & Mackley, 2013).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-515
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2014


  • Media
  • Representation
  • Social Imaginaries
  • Imagined Communities

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