Australian Media and the Politics of Belonging

Australian Media and the Politics of Belonging

Edited by David Nolan
Karen Farquharson
Timothy Marjoribanks

Anthem Studies in Australian Politics

Containing contributions by leading scholars, ‘Australian Media and the Politics of Belonging’ addresses key topical themes and concerns in contemporary Australia.

Hardback, 216 Pages


March 2018

£70.00, $115.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

‘Australian Media and the Politics of Belonging’ explores mediated debates about belonging in contemporary Australia by combining research that proposes conceptual and historical frameworks for understanding the concept in the Australian context. A range of themes and case studies make the book a significant conceptual resource as well as a much-needed update on work in this area. ‘Australian Media and the Politics of Belonging’ also provides an intervention that engages with key contemporary issues, questions and problems around the politics of belonging that are relevant not only to academic debate, but also to contemporary policy development and media and popular discussion.

The chapters address a variety of key issues and questions regarding the ethics of media practice and actual media practices – consideration of ethical obligations, media treatment of different populations and the degree to which media serve not only as sites through which a range of voices contribute to definitions of Australian belonging but also, significantly, as a means through which such voices can be heard. An engagement with the problem of ethical practice also asks how a greater understanding of the impact of media representations can contribute to new ethical frameworks and new forms of media practice in areas of key sensitivity such as the reporting of Islam. [NP] In addressing such issues ‘Australian Media and the Politics of Belonging’ provides an important resource for understanding, and makes a vital contribution to, debates surrounding belonging in Australia.


‘This remarkable book is at once a sophisticated theoretical exploration of the theme of media and “belonging” – that is, the feeling of being “at home” in a given community and recognized as such by others – and an unprecedented study of media interventions designed to extend and enhance belonging by bridging the gap between media theory and media practice. A critical analysis of journalists’ efforts to mentor Sudanese-Australians so they might gain a voice and contest hostile media narratives exemplifies the book’s unstinting commitment to probe the complexities, and limitations, of efforts to achieve social inclusion via the media. The book is thoughtful, original and inspiring. It sets a new standard for critical research on the Australian media. It will find audiences in journalism studies, political communication, sociology, mass communication, and ethnic and migration studies.
—Penny O’Donnell, Senior Lecturer in International Media and Journalism, Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney, Australia

‘This exciting collaboration between some of Australia’s key sociologists, journalists and scholars of media is a must-read for those interested in how ethnic minorities, particularly those of African and Muslim backgrounds, are (re)constructed as “other” in more and less explicit ways in the Australian media.’
—Farida Fozdar, Associate Professor, Anthropology and Sociology, University of Western Australia

‘This book illustrates the constitutive role of media in the construction, as well as dissemination, of political projects of belonging. Focusing on Sudanese immigrants in Australia, it demonstrates the political discourses of who is included and who is excluded in the contested and shifting boundaries of the Australian national collectivity, highlighting the processual multi-layered nature of national belonging.’
—Nira Yuval-Davis, Director, The Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London, UK

Author Information

David Nolan is senior lecturer in media and communications and deputy director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Karen Farquharson is head of the School of Social and Political Sciences and professor of sociology at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Timothy Marjoribanks is associate dean (research and development) and professor of management at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.


Anthem Studies in Australian Politics

Economics and Society

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Part I Theorizing Belonging in Contemporary Australia; 1. Australian Media and the Politics of Belonging, David Nolan, Karen Farquharson and Timothy Marjoribanks; 2. Politics of Belonging in a Mediated Society: A Contribution to the Conceptual Exegesis, Val Colic-Peisker; 3. Media, Belonging and Being Heard: Community Media and the Politics of Listening, Tanja Dreher; Part II Sudanese Australians, Media Practices and the Politics of Belonging; 4. Talking about the Other: Sudanese Australians and the Language of Difference on Talkback Radio, Scott Hanson-Easey; 5. In a Context of Crime: Sudanese and South Sudanese Australians in the Media, Karen Farquharson and David Nolan; 6. Journalism Practice, the Police and Sudanese Australians, Denis Muller, Karen Farquharson and David Nolan; 7. Constructing the Heroic Other and ‘They Always Asked about Africa, They Never Asked about Me’: Three Screen Representations of Sudanese Australians, Paola Bilbrough; 8. Towards an Australian Framework for Best Practice in Reporting News Involving Muslims and Islam, Jacqui Ewart and Mark Pearson; 9. Creating Media, Creating Belonging: Young People from Refugee Backgrounds and the Home Lands Project, Raelene Wilding and Sandra Gifford; 10. Creating Belonging: The Possibilities and Limitations of an Organizational News Media Intervention, Timothy Marjoribanks, Denis Muller and Michael Gawenda; Notes on Contributors; Index.


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