The political significance of the liberal media coverage of District Six from 1949 to 1970

Marquard, Andrew Keith (1996) The political significance of the liberal media coverage of District Six from 1949 to 1970. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

The political significance of the media coverage of District Six is approached in the following way: the issue is approached theoretically by posing the question of the general political significance of news as a communicative form. This question is resolved by an examination of the complicated relationship between the tradition of political thought and the development of modem political forms, specifically the issue of the importance of communication in modern political forms. This is explored by considering the problem of the political outlined by Heller. Arendt reconceptua1izes the problem in terms of political judgement, which is discussed in relation to postmodernism and Wittgenstein's philosophy of language, to establish a new conceptualization of political judgement based on Arendt's view of narrative and Benjamin's writing on history. This conceptualization is used to formulated a notion of the general political significance of news, which is a form of political judgement related to a specific political culture. On this basis the media material is analysed in terms of two processes: the representation of District Six in the liberal media, and the representation of the political process surrounding its racial zoning and demolition. It is concluded that the media coverage of Distract Six during this period is characterized by a political culture termed the politics of the ordinary based on a reification of 'Europe' as part of a ' colonial attitude', and the idealization of specific urban forms, with a special relationship to urban planning. Thus the political significance of the media coverage resides in the perpetuation of this political culture, representative of the politics of the white English-speaking middle class, in terms of which an authentic urban politics is not conceivable. Additional conclusions are also drawn concerning the relationship between this political culture and the politics of Apartheid.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mass media, Press, South Africa, District Six
Subjects:J Political Science
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Political Studies and International Studies
Supervisors:Southall, Roger
ID Code:3783
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:23 Oct 2012 13:36
Last Modified:23 Oct 2012 13:36
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