Student review: Cultural Diversity and Global Media: The Mediation of Difference

November 4, 2010

Author: Eugenia Siapera

Edition: First

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Pages: 232

Price: £55.00 and £21.99

ISBN 9781405180474 and 0467

The relationship between multiculturalism and the media is one that I have encountered in and out of the classroom. The media have played a profound role in how I reconcile my different identities as a young hijab-wearing woman in the Western world. In a thought-provoking and comprehensive book, Eugenia Siapera argues that the media play a key role in how we understand diversity. She clearly illustrates the different layers, arguments and players in the relationship between multiculturalism and the media, and provides a strong theoretical background for critical conversations.

Siapera makes a compelling case for the importance of engaging in a critical discussion about the part the media play in how individuals feel about and understand difference. She argues that such a relationship is integral to understanding how we understand difference, particularly given the speed with which these perspectives are shifting.

As it draws extensively on analysis of current events, this book will become dated in places, so it may work best as a starting point for students to analyse the relationships evolving around them. I write for a blog analysing images of Muslim women in the media, and reading Siapera's work has helped me sharpen my critical eye even in an extracurricular setting.

The book's functionality is a key asset. It is easy to read, clearly written and well organised. Although it is perhaps most suited to undergraduate-level study, it could be a good starting point for research at the postgraduate level. Its summaries are helpful, with many offering charts that detail the development and key points of different theories. It would be useful in the preparation of study guides for exam revision; for research papers, it could help to construct a theoretical framework for an argument.

The debate about multiculturalism is heated, and the media play a role in promoting many problematic images and arguments. Siapera does a great job of showing the complexities and intersectionality of the issue. While currently up to date, the text would be best used in the context of a teaching environment that encourages students to stay informed about the evolution of issues and debates.

Who is it for? A strong reference tool useful for both postgraduate as well as undergraduate students, and for any student willing to plunge into the debate about multiculturalism.

Presentation: This is clear and easy to read. Even the laziest of students will be forced to learn something.

Would you recommend it? Highly. I would have found it very useful in papers I have written about multiculturalism.

Highly recommended

Masculinities in Theory: An Introduction

Author: Todd W. Reeser

Edition: First

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Pages: 248

Price: £50.00 and £19.99

ISBN 9781405168595 and 8601

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