News Discourses About Social Movements Reinforce Dominant Ideologies

by Daniel Morgan

An article by Brandi Lawless (with coauthor, Chen) examining the interrelationship among culture, media, globalization, and social movements through a “Critical Discourse Analysis” of international news discourses on the Arab Spring and the U.S.-based Occupy movements is set to be published in the Howard Journal of Communications in 2016.

The article, “Reclaiming Their Historical Agency: A Critical Analysis of News Discourses on Occupy and Arab Spring,” follows several calls to pay closer attention to democratic discourses and/or practices within globalized social movements.

“We explore the ways in which news discourses about the Arab Spring and Occupy reinforce dominant ideologies related to global capitalism, cultural imperialism, and Eurocentric democracy,” Lawless said.

“We further delineate differences between the ideology of democracy and the practices of democratization,” she added. “This analysis reveals important implications for conceptions of agency and democracy in a globalized world.”

Lawless is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies program. She also serves as the Interim Director for the Peace and Justice Studies program.