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Culture and citizenship: the missing link?

By Nick Couldry


This article argues that, instead of assuming that we know what ‘cultural citizenship’ involves, we should investigate more closely the uncertainties about what constitutes the ‘culture’ (or cultures) of citizenship. The article argues for the distinctive contribution of cultural studies to the problem of democratic engagement, as usually framed within political science. It then reports some preliminary findings from the recently completed ‘Media Consumption and the Future of Public Connection’ project, which focus on the importance of social opportunities for talk about public issues, the possibilities of withdrawal from news because it presents issues which people can do nothing about, and alternative forms of collective connection through media (such as celebrity culture) which exhibit no effective link to public issues

Topics: HE Transportation and Communications, JA Political science (General)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1367549406066076
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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  3. 13 Quoted from Couldry and Langer (2005: 244) which provides further background on the methodology of this pilot research and the context of this response.
  4. (2005). 2 This article began life as a paper presented at the Making Sense of Culture conference organised by the Institute of Cultural Theory,
  5. (2003). 3 I will be drawing here on discussion between the Public Connection team in
  6. (2000). 4 I have argued elsewhere in more detail for the importance in cultural studies analysing the conditions under which individual voices emerge (Couldry,
  7. (2005). 7 For a related pilot study (‘The Dispersed Citizen’ project, 2001-2), see Couldry and Langer
  8. (1999). 8 In emphasising uncertainties and tensions in this way, our project was influenced by George Marcus’ recent notion of ‘complicity’
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