Ubuntu and the Communication–Power Nexus

  • Leyla Tavernaro-Haidarian


Against the backdrop of a global refugee crisis, an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor and dismal environmental forecasts, the headlines that dominate contemporary news reports are often characterized by division and polarization, as “fear”, “conspiracy” and “paranoia” (see Munusamy, 2017, n.p.) beset the public. “The problem”, some say, “is no longer simply paralyzing partisanship. The danger at the moment is … a kind of tribalism”, and such divides aren’t simply between left and right: “Instead, there are schisms within the parties, and in some cases schisms within schisms” (Seib, 2017, n.p.). These divisive tendencies are in some ways reflected and amplified by the media who, in turn, reduce what are essentially complex interrelated issues into over-simplified frames that boost ratings and make the consumption of information easier. Political debates, talk shows and many other forms of public discourse, even those that resist a commercial focus in favour of an ethos of public journalism, are frequently characterized by agonistic modes of communication that posit and challenge, persuade and argue, betraying deeply conflictual assumptions around the way in which we perceive human relations.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leyla Tavernaro-Haidarian
    • 1
  1. 1.GES Postdoctoral Research FellowUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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