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Disaster capitalism, the financial crisis and media ‘silence’

Heather Savigny
University of East Anglia
Heather Savigny
University of East Anglia
Open Panel

Abstract

This paper analyses the way in which the financial crisis has provided the systemic ‘shock’ needed for the neoliberal project to reassert its dominance, with particular reference to the UK. Within this wider political context the paper also reflects upon the media’s complicity in this process. The media circulate dominant discourses yet they are not passive conduits of information, but play role in the construction and articulation of discourses. While much attention is often focused upon what is said within media, this paper reflects upon the idea of social silence; where what is not said is significant. As social mobility declines and gaps between rich and poor continue to widen this paper analyses the role of the media in the political silencing of the poorest in British society and reflects on the ‘shock tactics’ of disaster capitalism responding to the wider economic ‘crisis’, which is intimately entangled with a wider neoliberal political agenda.