Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics After Neoliberalism

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SAGE, Jun 14, 2010 - Political Science - 184 pages
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"One of the best books I have read in years about what it means to engage neoliberalism through a critical framework that highlights those narratives and stories that affirm both our humanity and our longing for justice. It should be read by everyone concerned with what it might mean to not only dream about democracy but to engage it as a lived experience and political possibility."
- Henry Giroux, McMaster University

"An important and original book that offers a fresh critique of neoliberalism and its contribution to the contemporary crisis of ‘voice’. Couldry’s own voice is clear and impassioned - an urgent must-read."
- Rosalind Gill, King’s College London

For more than thirty years neoliberalism has declared that market functioning trumps all other social, political and economic values. In this book, Nick Couldry passionately argues for voice, the effective opportunity for people to speak and be heard on what affects their lives, as the only value that can truly challenge neoliberal politics. But having voice is not enough: we need to know our voice matters. Insisting that the answer goes much deeper than simply calling for 'more voices', whether on the streets or in the media, Couldry presents a dazzling range of analysis from the real world of Blair and Obama to the social theory of Judith Butler and Amartya Sen.

Why Voice Matters breaks open the contradictions in neoliberal thought and shows how the mainstream media not only fails to provide the means for people to give an account of themselves, but also reinforces neoliberal values. Moving beyond the despair common to much of today's analysis, Couldry shows us a vision of a democracy based on social cooperation and offers the resources we need to build a new post-neoliberal politics.

 

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Contents

1 Voice as Value
1
2 The Crisis of Neoliberal Economics
21
An Oxymoron
47
4 Media and the Amplification of Neoliberal Values
73
5 Philosophies of Voice
91
6 Sociologies of Voice
113
7 Towards a PostNeoliberal Politics
135
Background Note
153
References
157
Index
173
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Nick Couldry is Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory in the Department of Media and communications at LSE. As a sociologist of media and culture, he approaches media and communications from the perspective of the symbolic power that has been historically concentrated in media institutions. He is interested in how media and communications institutions and infrastructures contribute to various types of order (social, political, cultural, economic, ethical). His work has drawn on, and contributed to, social, spatial, democratic and cultural theory, anthropology, and media and communications ethics. His analysis of media as ‘practice’ has been widely influential. He is the author or editor of 11 books and many journal articles and book chapters. Nick taught previously in the LSE Departments of Sociology and Media and Communications (2001-2006), and before rejoining LSE in September 2013 was joint Head of the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has been chair of the Philosophy Theory and Critique division of the ICA  and vice-chair of the Mediatization Temporary Working Group of ECREA. He has held visiting positions at universities in University of Pennsylvania, University of Stockholm, RMIT Melbourne, Roskilde University, Södertorn University, Stockholm, University of Technology Sydney, and University of Toulouse. In June 2014 Nick was appointed Adjunct Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. In 2014 Nick has given invited lectures and seminars in Brazil, Chile, Holland (Utrecht, Gronigen), Portugal, Sweden, and the USA (Boulder, Yale).

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