© 2019

Media and the Politics of Offence

  • Anne Graefer

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Offence, Politics and Protest

  3. Offence, Representations and Popular Culture

  4. Offence, Media Ethics and Regulation

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 253-258

About this book


This book explores different forms of mediated offence in the context of Trump's America, Brexit Britain, and the rise of far-right movements across the globe. In this political landscape, the so-called ‘right to offend’ is often seen as a legitimate weapon against a ‘political correctness gone mad’ that stifles ‘free speech’. Against the backdrop of these current developments, this book aims to generate a productive dialogue among scholars working in a variety of intellectual disciplines, geographical locations and methodological traditions. The contributors share a concern about the complex and ambiguous nature of offence as well as about the different ways in which this so-called ‘negative affect’ comes to matter in our everyday and socio-political lives. Through a series of instructive case studies of recent media provocations, the authors illustrate how being offended is more than an individual feeling and is, instead, closely tied to political structures and power relations.


Media Offence Offense Media Regulation Audience Studies Reception Studies Affect Emotion Censorship Free Speech Trigger Warning Social Media

Editors and affiliations

  • Anne Graefer
    • 1
  1. 1.Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural ResearchBirmingham City UniversityBirminghamUK

About the editors

Anne Graefer is Lecturer in Media Theory at the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, UK. She is co-author, with Ranjana Das, of Provocative Screens: Offended Audiences in Britain and Germany (2017).

Bibliographic information


“This valuable collection of essays helps to foster a more sophisticated approach to important questions of offensiveness in public discourse.  Situating offence in relation to structures of power, the book is diverse in its empirical cases and analytical approaches; takes us beyond westernised contexts as well as including them; and deals with a range of different forms of expression, representation and practice.” (Michael Pickering, Loughborough University, UK)

“This collection is both timely and extremely welcome in a climate where issues of offence have become of central political importance. Wide-ranging in its scope, the book provides an accessible introduction to the contemporary entanglements of media, offence, controversy, civility and affect.” (Feona  Attwood, Professor of Cultural Studies, Communication and Media, Middlesex University, UK)

“This is a significant and timely collection exploring the knotty business of mediated offence in contemporary political landscapes.. A must-read for scholars and students in media and communications, cultural studies, gender studies, sociology and political science.” (Sharon Lockyer, Brunel University London, UK)

“This multi-disciplinary volume highlights the increasingly central use of offence as a communicative resource for taking a stance, staging protests, silencing others and gaining a voice, combining classic thinkers such as Goffman with up-to-the-minute case studies. A must-read for divisive times.” (Caroline Tagg, Open University, UK)