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Global Communication and Social Change: an open access reading list

15 April 2021

7 mins

Dr Jessica Noske-Turner, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of the MA Global Communication and Social Change programme, offers her reading recommendations from a new Open Access reading list on Global Communication and Social Change.

Unless you have access to a well-resourced university library it can be prohibitively expensive to access academic books and journal articles. There are pockets of publications that are published ‘open access’ and therefore available digitally for free. Recently, I asked fellow researchers active in the field of communication and social change to suggest their favourite open access publications. The resulting compilation offers both introductory texts useful for prospective students hoping to get a head-start, as well as new, cutting edge research articles suitable for graduates, practitioners, and indeed all scholars in both the Global South and North.  

For someone just embarking on their journey into the field of communication and social change my recommended entry point would be Prof. Silvio Waisbord’s 2005 chapter entitled ‘Five key ideas: coincidences and challenges in development communication‘. This chapter is included along with other introductory texts in the ‘Foundations in Communication and Social Change’ section, and it neatly summarises some of the key concepts and points of broad consensus in this field. This Foundations section also includes a recent article by Ana Cristina Suzina and Thomas Tufte discussing the significant legacy of the Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, on the field of communication and social change. They discuss Freire’s lasting relevant in the context of the recent swathes of social movements, and show how these social change movements actively critiques the assumptions about meanings of ‘development’.   

My other recommendation is the entire section called ‘Diverse Communities and Diverse Practices’, which showcases case-studies of media and communication in action across Africa, Latin America, Asia the Pacific, as well as indeed in the US and Australia. Case studies are not only inspiring to read, but they are also particularly important in this field where there is a tight relationship between theory and practice.

Finally, the concluding section links to full open access books and special issues. Many articles and chapters from these special issues and books are featured earlier sections, but this final section might be useful for people with more specific interests.   

With thanks to the following scholars for their contributions to this list: Dr Florencia Enghel, Michael Kim, Dr Martin Scott, Dr Ana Cristina Suzina, Prof. Jo Tacchi, Prof. Thomas Tufte, Prof. Karin Wilkins.

Have we missed something? Contact Jessica to help build our Communication and Social Change Open Access Reading List.

Open access reading list: Global Communication and Social Change

Foundations in Communication and Social Change

This section includes some introductory and foundational texts (listed in alphabetical order) useful for undergraduate and postgraduate level students.

Diverse communities and diverse practices

This section includes case studies showing a diverse range of approaches to media and communication for social change.

Critical and Alternative perspectives on communication and social change in aid, development, and philanthropic contexts

Evaluating communication and social change initiatives

Open access books and special issues

This reading list has been compiled by Dr Jessica Noske-Turner, Loughborough University, with contributions from: Dr Florencia Enghel, Michael Kim, Dr Martin Scott, Dr Ana Cristina Suzina, Prof. Jo Tacchi, Prof. Thomas Tufte, and Prof. Karin Wilkins.

If you would like to find out more about the Institute for Media and Creative Industries and their programmes, please visit our website.

Loughborough University London would like to thank Dr Jessica Noske-Turner for this blog.

This open access reading list is published under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA licence.

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