Convened by Professor Shakuntala Banaji

The content of MC421 is framed to address the history of and tensions between 'media for development' and 'communication for development', while challenging mainstream perspectives on the role of media and communication in low income countries. It achieves this aim by emphasising the conflictual relationships between economic and political power and the empowerment of individuals, as well as among collective groupings within their local and regional contexts. In particular, it questions the epistemological basis of current approaches to Media, Communication and Development in the context of a historicised account of representations of development both in the West and the Global South.The course offers a critique of the scholarly and policy oriented literature that regards the media, information, and communication strategies and information and communication technology applications, as obvious means of alleviating poverty and fostering democracy as well as human rights in low-income countries. It offers alternative theorisations of the contested way in which developments in these areas become embedded in the cultural and social fabric, especially where poverty, racism and unequal power relations influence the capacities of individuals to make changes in their lives.