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Alternative Media as Critical Media

European Journal of Social Theory , Volume 13 (2): 173 – May 1, 2010


Sage Publications
Copyright © 2010 by SAGE Publications
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Alternative Media as Critical Media


This article deals with the category of alternative media from a theoretical perspective. It aims to develop a definition and to distinguish different dimensions of alternative media. The article is a contribution to theoretical foundations of alternative media studies. The notion of alternative media as critical media is introduced. Critical media product content shows the suppressed possibilities of existence, antagonisms of reality, and potentials for change. It questions domination, expresses the standpoints of the oppressed and dominated groups and individuals and argues for the advancement of a co-operative society. Critical media product form aims at advancing imagination; it is dialectical because it involves dynamics, non-identity, rupture, and the unexpected. The category of critical media is connected to Negt and Kluge’s notion of the counter-public sphere. Critical media can be seen as the communicative dimension of the counter-public sphere.
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