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The peripheral media: alternative coverage and the politicization of inequality in contemporary Brazil

Levy, H. (2018). The peripheral media: alternative coverage and the politicization of inequality in contemporary Brazil. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Since the 2013 nationwide protests in Brazil, the coverage of social issues by the country’s alternative media has reached unprecedented levels of notoriety. Media producers have laid bare the consequences of inequality, as seen in bad public services, crime and violence among the poorest, and episodes of class prejudice in the country’s biggest cities. This thesis aims to set new parameters to analyse the coverage of this alternative media scene, based on a framework called the peripheral media. It investigates the contribution that this amalgam of small media outlets can make to the politicization of inequality in Brazil. With limited infrastructure, could producers create a different type of politicized awareness based only on their discourse? How could the alternative media thus open a path to a more democratic media environment? This research has invested in interviews with media producers based across the country, and in a frame analysis of their content, to find common strategies used to raise the awareness of an indifferent mainstream society regarding inequality. Evidence has shown producers transforming past mainstream stereotypes, as well as acting to reframe crime as political events and to deconstruct the trivialisation of everyday inequality. This thesis contends that the alternative media’s strength lies more in its ability to create counterhegemonic discourses than otherwise thought, also suggesting that media democratisation could come increasingly from the margins of society.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
School of Policy & Global Affairs > School of Policy & Global Affairs Doctoral Theses
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