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Nationhood, visibility and the media: the struggles for and over the image of Brazil during the June 2013 demonstrations

Jiménez-Martínez, César (2017) Nationhood, visibility and the media: the struggles for and over the image of Brazil during the June 2013 demonstrations. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.e2tcrxkskppr


In June 2013, the largest series of protests that Brazil had experienced in more than twenty years erupted in cities across the country. News from Brazil and abroad reported that people protested against the money that local authorities spent on hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, rather than on the provision of basic public services. The demonstrations, which journalists and academics called the June Journeys, challenged the Brazilian authorities’ efforts to construct and project an image of Brazil as a harmonious and modern nation. This thesis focusses on the reasons and conditions underpinning the media coverage of the June Journeys in relation to the image of Brazil. The study explores the tensions for and over the symbolic construction, projection and contestation of the nation in the current interrelated, transnational and contentintensive media environment. Theoretically, the thesis draws on scholarship on nationalism, media and nationhood, media and social movements, and mediated visibility. Empirically, the study analyses two datasets: (1) 797 newspaper articles, television reports, online videos and photos produced by Brazil’s main newspapers and television newscasts, alternative media collectives, and a selection of foreign media from the United States and Western Europe; (2) sixty-three interviews with Brazilian journalists, foreign correspondents, activists and government officials, who participated in the media coverage of the protests. The analysis of these two datasets suggests that the current media environment is a space of constraint rather than pluralism, in which traditional power imbalances are reproduced. The authorities, activists and journalists constructed competing images of Brazil and then employed strikingly similar strategies to make these images visible. The research also underlines how norms, routines, market imperatives and technologies shape and limit the type of images of the nation shown by these various individuals and organisations through the media.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 César Antonio Jiménez-Martínez
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Supervisor: Orgad, Shani

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