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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2018

Chapter 9 Perspectives: Theorizing Mediatized Civic Settings and Cultural Conflict

From the book Contesting Religion

  • David Herbert


This chapter reflects on how the interplay between national media frames and discourses, social media, and user-generated content works out in practice in civic settings. It argues that while social media in theory break national elites’ representational monopoly, in practice successful challenges (which would shift mass media frames and overall public opinion) are rare; rather, voicing of alternative views mostly results in the formation of networked counter-publics, with potential to challenge mainstream views but also to increase polarization. These dangers may be exacerbated by an increasingly uneven spatial distribution of both religious diversity and anti-immigrant sentiment, shown in levels of religious participation by ethnicity and voting patterns by region. The challenges posed for local governance by this situation are outlined, and possible solutions briefly considered, drawing on evidence from the literatures on superdiversity, contact theory, and political participation.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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