Chapter

Assessing the impact of social cohesion initiatives in a media age: methodological and theoretical considerations

Roger Grimshaw and Kate Smart

in Promoting social cohesion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9781847426956
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303084 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847426956.003.0007
Assessing the impact of social cohesion initiatives in a media age: methodological and theoretical considerations

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This chapter develops the methodological and theoretical thinking about how to assess cohesion initiatives in an age of heightened and diverse media communications. It also describes how the concept of ‘community’ can be socially understood within a global and local social context in which complex communication systems shape its meanings. The chapter uses an illustrative case study, drawing on the methods and findings of a specific research project concerned with aspects of cohesion in a large metropolis: London. The conclusions show that any assessment of strategies for increasing cohesion must take into account the ways in which communication flows influence perceptions and attitudes. The study found clear evidence of negative, unbalanced, and inaccurate reporting, most significantly in the national press, which reported on asylum and refugee issues far more frequently than either the local or Black and minority ethnic press.

Keywords: social cohesion; cohesion initiatives; media communications; London; national press; community

Chapter.  6326 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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