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What is a Cohesive Community Anyway?

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The Role of Mainstream Media in Narratives of (Dis)Integration

image of Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

The perceived failure of minority communities to integrate into mainstream culture and society has been of such concern in recent years that there have been a series of political endeavors to shore up notions of citizenship, inclusion, and (national) identity, indeed about what it means to be British. This paper considers political discourses about the failure of multiculturalism and the subsequent implementation of community cohesion strategies in relation to David Cameron’s recent treatise on muscular liberalism, in order to reflect upon notions of segregation, identity and cohesion in the United Kingdom. Data from the Muslims in the European Mediascape project is used to consider to what extent dominant hegemonic discourses of Muslim communities permeate media production practices. Based on an analysis of interviews with mainstream media producers in the United Kingdom, the key concern of this paper is to explore whether media production practices can be said to reinforce the current form of hegemonic liberalism.

Affiliations: 1: School of Sociology and Criminology, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK,


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