Alternative Voices in Alternative Spaces: Counterhegemonic Discourse in the Blogosphere
Authors: Gabriel, D.
Editors: Thorsen, E., Jackson, D., Savigny, H. and Alexander, J.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Place of Publication: London
In 21st century Britain, racial inequality remains deeply embedded in the fabric of society (Institute for Public Policy Research, 2010) and women and people of colour remain at the margins of the mainstream media that often perpetuates inequalities through misrepresentation or exclusion. The media remains a key site for on-going struggles against hegemony (Bailey et al, 2008; Downing, 2001; Cammaerts, 2008) and thus this chapter examines how blogs are used by African Caribbean people as a discursive medium through which raced and gendered identities are contested, reconfigured and enacted within the blogosphere. It highlights how the motivation and gratification of African Caribbean bloggers are driven by a complex set of factors linked to issues of race and representation that stem from feeling voiceless, invisible and marginalised within British Society. While the blogosphere is hailed as a revolutionary, democratic space, it also maintains raced and gendered inequalities found offline and reproduces unequal power relations (Cammaerts, 2008; Kellner, 2000; Papacharissi, 2002; Schradie, 2012). Despite such limitations, African Caribbeans still appropriate the blogosphere as a medium for self-representation to cultivate symbolic power through their own constructions of Black identity.