Challenging the whiteness of Britishness: co-creating British social history in the blogosphere

Authors: Gabriel, D.

Start date: 18 May 2015

Publisher: ICCMTD

Place of Publication: online

Blogs are a valuable medium for preserving cultural memory, reflecting the various dimensions of human life (O’Sullivan, 2005) and allowing ordinary individuals and marginalised groups the opportunity to contribute to the ‘dialogue of history’ (Cohen, 2005:10). The diverse perspectives to be found in the blogosphere can help deepen understanding of historical moments. Such examples include 9/11 (Cohen, 2005), the London bombings in 2005 (Allan, 2006) and Hurricane Katrina (Brock, 2009). Using critical race theory (CRT) as a theoretical framework and cultural democracy as the conceptual framework, this study examines the symbolic power of counter-storytelling through the blogosphere. The findings reveal that in relation to coverage of the UK ‘riots’ in 2011 and the Stephen Lawrence verdict in 2012, African Caribbean bloggers advanced alternative perspectives of the events and appropriated blogs as a medium for self-representation through their own constructions of Black identity. In so doing they performed a vital role as co-creators of British social history.

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