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Why Voice Matters

Why Voice Matters
Culture and Politics After Neoliberalism

  • Nick Couldry - London School of Economics, UK, London School of Economics and Political Science, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

June 2010 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
One of the best books I have read in years about what it means to engage neoliberalism through a critical framework that highlights those narratives and stories that affirm both our humanity and our longing for justice. It should be read by everyone concerned with what it might mean to not only dream about democracy but to engage it as a lived experience and political possibility.
- Henry Giroux, McMaster University

"An important and original book that offers a fresh critique of neoliberalism and its contribution to the contemporary crisis of ‘voice’. Couldry’s own voice is clear and impassioned - an urgent must-read."
Rosalind Gill, King’s College London

For more than thirty years neoliberalism has declared that market functioning trumps all other social, political and economic values. In this book, Nick Couldry passionately argues for voice, the effective opportunity for people to speak and be heard on what affects their lives, as the only value that can truly challenge neoliberal politics. But having voice is not enough: we need to know our voice matters. Insisting that the answer goes much deeper than simply calling for 'more voices', whether on the streets or in the media, Couldry presents a dazzling range of analysis from the real world of Blair and Obama to the social theory of Judith Butler and Amartya Sen.

Why Voice Matters breaks open the contradictions in neoliberal thought and shows how the mainstream media not only fails to provide the means for people to give an account of themselves, but also reinforces neoliberal values. Moving beyond the despair common to much of today's analysis, Couldry shows us a vision of a democracy based on social cooperation and offers the resources we need to build a new post-neoliberal politics.

Voice as Value
The Crisis of Neo-Liberal Economics
Neo-Liberal Democracy: An Oxymoron
Media and the Amplification of Neo-Liberal Values
Philosophies of Voice
Sociologies of Voice
Towards a Post-Neo-Liberal Politics

An interesting and though-provoking thesis. Effective critical analysis.

Mr David Ness
Social Science, Moray College UHI
February 22, 2013

"Why Voice Matters" is an interesting book. It is extremely valuable for post-graduate students be able to discuss critically the evolution of neoliberalism and in particular the voices (and silences) that this particular mode of governance creates and stimulates. Nevertheless I have found the textbook too advanced for undergraduate level (where I teach these topics). I believe it is a supplemental reading for Economics and Sociology majors.

Dr Hugo Pinto
Faculty of Economics, University of the Algarves
January 7, 2013

Excellent recap of neoliberalism and lead into post neoliberalism - useful chapter summaries, text and line spacing a bit small

Ms Maria Faraone
Department of Planning, Oxford Brookes University
November 20, 2012

I recommed this book for all working in the area of political culture and citizenship.

Mr Niels Kristensen
Economics, Politics & Public Admin, Aalborg University
April 4, 2011

This is an absolutely essential book for anyone wanting to understand what neo-liberalism is, how it has been sold to the public, and the immense damage which it has already done to the social, political and cultural fabric. Its relevance goes far beyond media studies, but Chapter 4 provides a much-needed critique of the way in which the media, including the public service broadcasters, have helped to sell and spin neo-liberal values.

Professor Julian Petley
Screen Media and Journalism, Brunel University
October 26, 2010

Nick Couldry stresses in a elaborated way the complicity of politics and media in actual society. His arguments helps a lot to define the difference between traditional mainstream media and community media which rather aims at giving back voice to the people. I recommend this book to my students as a supplementary text as it will help to explain the communicative gap community media are filling in our democracy.

Mr Helmut Peissl
Institut für Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft, University of Klagenfurt
October 12, 2010

I found this book engaging, theoretically solid and wide-ranging--and written in a clear and accessible way to boot. I am recommending it to my students in the Communication Culture and Media MA course.

Dr Mafalda Stasi
Department of Media and Communication, Coventry University
September 16, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Voice as Value

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781848606623
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