Dr Siobhan Holohan (Sociology) and Dr Elizabeth Poole (Media, Communications and Culture) attended the International Association for Media and Communication Research Annual Conference held at Dublin City University last week. The conference was opened by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, who addressed the conference theme, Crises, ‘Creative Destruction’ and the Global Power and Communication Orders, by talking about the impact of the global financial crisis on media and public communication. In addressing this this issue Holohan and Poole presented work from their recent British Council funded Muslims in the European Mediascape Project. Unpacking the extent to which the current climate of austerity adds to tension between communities in the UK, they considered how far the production and use of alternative channels of communication can challenge mainstream media narratives. In their papers they noted that despite the existence of an alternative media, narratives produced by the mainstream media continue to dominate the discursive landscape. They argued that such narratives problematise Muslim communities and closely follow political accounts that speak to the failure of multiculturalism, while at the same time promoting a cohesive community agenda that seeks to impose dominant 'British' values.
Siobhan Holohan convenes the Ethnicities and Migration Research Group at Keele.