Democracy and culture

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    How people feel about what companies do with their data is just as important as what they know about it

How people feel about what companies do with their data is just as important as what they know about it

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The recent revelation that Cambridge Analytica was able to acquire the Facebook data of 50 million people has led to a surge of interest and questions around what companies do with people’s data. Amidst all of this, little attention has been paid to the feelings of those whose data are used, shared, and acted upon. According to Helen Kennedy, […]

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    Memorandum of understandings promise nothing; media mergers require close scrutiny by the FCC for their impacts on Latinas/os

Memorandum of understandings promise nothing; media mergers require close scrutiny by the FCC for their impacts on Latinas/os

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Mergers have become an increasing frequent part of the American media landscape, and alongside this consolidation interest groups have sprung up to challenge them on the grounds of minority representation, In new work, Jason A. Smith and Randy Abreu take a close look at the effects on Latina/o representation of the 2011 merger between Comcast and NBC Universal. They […]

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    How stakeholder advisory committees could help fix a broken Congress

How stakeholder advisory committees could help fix a broken Congress

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The US Congress is mired in gridlock, with spending bills now only passed under threat of government shutdown. But how can Congress get past this dysfunction and begin to pass legislation without such partisan rancor? Stuart Kasdin explores one potential solution to these problems: the introduction of advisory committees made up of stakeholders and interest groups, which would be […]

Book Review: Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon

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In Black Skin, White Masks – first published in 1952 – Frantz Fanon offers a potent philosophical, clinical, literary and political analysis of the deep effects of racism and colonialism on the experiences, lives, minds and relationships of black people and people of colour. Leonardo Custódio reflects on the enduring relevance of Fanon’s classic work, here published in a new edition […]

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    Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: let this be the high-water mark for impunity

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: let this be the high-water mark for impunity

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The problems we see at social media companies today are the by-product of a laissez-faire approach to regulation, writes MacKenzie F. Common.

The last few days represent more than just the most recent and inevitable controversy emanating from Facebook’s beleaguered offices. The scandal over Cambridge Analytica’s participation in electoral manipulation and gross breaches of privacy have resonated more widely with […]

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    Book Review: The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms by R. Alexander Bentley and Michael J. O’Brien

Book Review: The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms by R. Alexander Bentley and Michael J. O’Brien

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In The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms, R. Alexander Bentley and Michael J. O’Brien examine the fast pace of technological and cultural change today, contrasting our modes of knowledge exchange with those of early humans. Exploring rapidly changing traditions from ancient fairy tales to viral memes, this playful book gives great insight into the ways in which cultures […]

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    Book Review: Making Milk: The Past, Present and Future of Our Primary Food edited by Mathilde Cohen and Yoriko Otomo

Book Review: Making Milk: The Past, Present and Future of Our Primary Food edited by Mathilde Cohen and Yoriko Otomo

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In Making Milk: The Past, Present and Future of Our Primary Food, editors Mathilde Cohen and Yoriko Otomo assemble a provocative collection of strong interdisciplinary scholarship to explore milk’s material, affective, historical, semantic, symbolic and economic relations, writes Jeanne Firth.

Making Milk: The Past, Present and Future of Our Primary Food. Mathilde Cohen and Yoriko Otomo (eds). Bloomsbury. 2017.

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French […]

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    Conspiracy theorists helped the Parkland students keep gun control on the national agenda

Conspiracy theorists helped the Parkland students keep gun control on the national agenda

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In the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, gun control has remained on the political and media agendas for far longer than has been the case following similar events in the past. Joseph E. Uscinski, Darin DeWitt, and Matthew D. Atkinson argue that this shooting has continued to capture the nation’s […]

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    Book Review: A Brief History of Feminism by Antje Schrupp, illustrated by Patu

Book Review: A Brief History of Feminism by Antje Schrupp, illustrated by Patu

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With A Brief History of Feminism, Antje Schrupp and illustrator Patu have crafted a graphic novel that traces the development of feminism from antiquity to the present day. While the book is primarily limited to offering an account of the evolution of European, Western feminist movements, this is nonetheless a fun, accessible and educational read that will give readers a […]

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    The media market and the battle for increasingly rare exclusive eyeballs

The media market and the battle for increasingly rare exclusive eyeballs

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Media in the whole world can now compete to sell ads previously reserved for local newspapers, affecting price, content and diversity, write Simon P. Anderson, Øystein Foros and Hans Jarle Kind.

The battle for ‘exclusive eyeballs’ among media platforms explains the sharp decrease in advertising revenues for mainstream media over the last 10 years. Remarkably, the battle also generates more […]

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