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HomeYouth, media and diversities

Youth, media and diversities

Jeunes, médias et diversités

Practices of diversity: from production to reception

Les pratiques de la diversité : de la production à la réception

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Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Les médias, parce qu’ils sont des médiations symboliques, techniques et sociales entre les individus et le monde, invoquent la complexité de cette diversité. Industries du symbolique, ils construisent et donnent à voir une « réalité » du monde dans toute sa diversité. Dès lors, quelle est la nature de cette diversité constituée par et avec les médias ? Comment la production et la réception de ces contenus, dispositifs, outils, supports constituent-elles des expériences de la diversité ? L’expérience de la diversité dans les médias est-elle en lien avec la diversité sociale, culturelle vécue quotidiennement ? Le rapprochement entre les ressorts de la diversité et ceux des médias s’est opéré dans divers pays et à différents moments de leur histoire. Dans tous les cas, il est à la fois l’objet d’un débat civil voire civique, d’une position politique voire militante, et toujours d’une question de recherche.



Diversity is either considered as a situation in which our societies exist or as a value to be promoted; however as a concept, it remains polysemous and complex. The definition of diversitycomes back tothe character of what counts as diverse, varied and different. Yet, the term is commonly used to refer to categories of citizens marked by the singularity of their geographic, sociocultural or religious origins or background, by their age or gender, etc. But diversity is also associated with heterogeneous practices – in short, to plural practices.

Media, as they institute symbolic, technical and social mediations between individuals and their environment, underline the complexity of diversity. As symbolic industries, they build and show a ‘reality’ of the world in its diversity. Thereafter, what are the traits of diversity, a notion set by and with media? How do the production and reception of content, mechanisms, tools and outlets represent experiences of diversity? Is the experience of diversity within media linked with social and cultural diversity as it is lived on a daily basis?

In different countries and different periods of their history, diversity issues and media issues have been brought closer. In each case, this has led to both civic debate and political/activist positions – and this has fed into academic research on them.

Continuing previous research undertaken by the Centre d’études sur les jeunes et les médias and by its partners IHECS and Media Animation, the Youth and Media diversities (YMdiv) Conference aims to discuss the fields of youth and media through the prism of diversity. The aim is to focus on relationships between the young and diversity via media, on three levels:

  • micro: the level of reception and of various experiences of diversity via media practices;
  • meso: the level of the production of diversity, whether it is reached within professional practices or by content creation;
  • macro: the level of cultural, educative and communication industries in a transnational perspective.

The YMdiv Conference has the ambition of dealing with several situations, thoughts and trends about youth and media experiencing diversity, through three academic approaches. 

Approach 1 – Diversity of practices, practices of diversity

The reception of symbolic content and media experiences are complex phenomena. The theoretical current of Cultural Studies has highlighted the cultural specificity of reception phenomena (Hall, Katz, Liebes, etc.). Reception in the issue of diversity raises many questions: what place for cultural diversity in understanding the phenomena of reception and media experiences of youth? What understanding of divergent readings? How can we consider the media practices culture of young people without being culturalist?

If this posture of consumer engages the individual in a specific relation to cultural content, which positions does he himself/she herself adopt on the issue of diversity in the media? What perception of diversity do consumers of cultural products have? Are phenomena of transnationalization perceived by young media users? Are they aware of being constantly in touch with diversity? Do they value it through their consumption? What roles do media play in the perception of youth about cultural diversity? What connections can be established between an increased consumption of content from a plurality of production contexts (Bollywood, Telenovelas, Sitcom, etc.) and the use of various cultural codes to interpret them? Is any support available in understanding this diversity? Which media literacy practices are likely to develop young people’s media skills concerning these issues?

As the issue of diversity in media is directly related to the issue of minority representation, what perceptions of the Other are there in active reception? And what perception of an “us” is there in relation to content depicting a minority to which one belongs? How is self-representation as an ‘‘Other’’ experienced? When so-called ‘‘diverse’’ communities are given a voice, what do they say about diversity in media? From a young user point of view, are media “places of recognition” for minorities (Malonga, 2008), for their minorities?

In a different register, at a time when the digitizing of content allows for increased circulation of cultural goods and when devices are multiplying, what does the user do with this diversity of content? Are they “cultural affinities” in the consumption of symbolic contents? Work on Media and Migrations (Mattelart, 2007) testifies to complex situations of media use and questions concomitant streams of media and migration, but what about reception mechanisms in these complex situations? Are young people users of these devices or so-called diasporas media?

Finally, if media practices are now supported by a participatory form of engagement, are the productions of young media users a reflection of this ongoing encounter with cultural diversity? Do participatory platforms enable a great meeting of cultures and diversity? Do media literacy integrate diversity issues in projects supporting production?

Approach 2 – Media and the diversity of production: visibility and content

Many works, mainly sociological and historical, have shown how media deal with migration phenomena and cultural and religious minorities. Some have the effect of marginalizing young people and people of immigrant ancestry by carrying essentialising discourses about the residents of working-class neighborhoods in large urban centers. Others, on the contrary, are part of a multiculturalist perspective that aims to bring together an audience of young people around the sense of belonging based on universal values. Today, what are the media representations of diversity? Do other innovative journalistic practices exist? Has the internet contributed to an evolution of modes of representation? Is there ethical reflection on this issue by information professionals? Are young content producers (in a family, professional or educational context) carrying these changes?

Studies have also highlighted the difficulties faced by the media in the practice and implementation of diversity, and particularly of cultural diversity. One the one hand, a sociography of media professionals would help a better understanding of the sociological contours in order to measure possible evolution. What training in diversity does exist for media professionals? Who writes, composes, expresses, shows but also diffuses and conveys content in the media? What journalistic practices can develop an inclusive treatment of diversity? On the other hand, are media content a reflection of diversity in terms of culture, religion, gender, age…? How is the figure of the "Other" in a highly transnational market built today? In their approaches to production and contribution, are young people distinctive in how they stage diversity?

For a century and a half, ethnic minorities have gone into media space at the margins -whether in special dedicated sections or pages within the mainstream media, or in specific media – in the same way that women in the English-speaking press did in the nineteenth century. In this context, are minority youth successful in achieving innovation in editorial, aesthetic or narrative contents, and in giving a voice to different topics in journalistic and media spaces? Is there an adversarial relationship between ethnic minority media and mainstream media? Or on the contrary, to what extent are ethnic media replicating forms of organization, systems of constraint, and a division of labor comparable to hegemonic models within more mainstream media? In addition, does the popularization of information and communication technologies enable access by the most undervalued groups to the media sphere? In today’s web era, are young people bearing a positive vision of diversity? With the boom of ethnic virtual social networks in all countries of immigration, is the use of ICT by ethnic minority youth a re-appropriation of new types of media, from “below”? Does media literacy take into account this richness and diversity?

Approach 3 – Cultural and educative industries through the prism of diversity

If diversity can be questioned on the one hand from the users (and their practices) and on the other hand from production (and regulation), it also must be thought through from an encounter between these two dimensions in the context of recent shifts in cultural and educational industries. The twentieth century saw the gradual emergence of large multinational media and cultural industries that for nearly half a century shaped the eyes of the world on standardized North-Western cultural models, visible in the mass media: newspapers, movies, television, literature, music, etc. From the 1980s, the advent of satellite technology, followed in the 1990s by the explosion of the internet has enabled these communication companies to expand, multiply and diversify the means of distribution of their audiovisual products to audiences and especially young people. Therefore, the proliferation of television channels and the development of the Internet since the 2000s paved the way for an unprecedented visibility of cultural entertainment products from various sources, and encouraged creation and dissemination of culture worldwide. In this way, information and communication technologies have often led people to believe that the national framework could be transcended. Is there not a tension here between a widespread production of flexible common formats (reality TV is a prime example) and the co-existence of practices of diversion, adaptation, conversion or transfer of these products? In other words, which means, what perspectives, what issues? In this changing media market, how are cultural industries meeting the challenge of diversity? What models of transnationalization of media production are there? What are the driving forces of a possible cultural internationalization? What are the possible reactions of states in response to these commercial and sometimes political (protectionism, cultural exception, media literacy systems) challenges?

Young people, who are major consumers of cultural and especially audiovisual content, represent an major stake in the development of transnational markets. Is youth approached as a transnational culture? Also, at a time when cultural industries are slightly redefining themselves in this movement of transnationalization and transmediatization, are they also looking to invest in other markets such as education (or edu-tainment) for example? How are socio-technical and socio-educational systems crossing cultural boundaries? And what about the issue of language used in these media (the hegemony of English, of Spanish ...)?

Some studies show that transnational cultural products can have explicit or implicit social functions (democracy promotion, health education, etc.) to the public, and sometimes specifically with youth. Do these media products act as mirror (or group listening) or projector? As an issue of the exercise of representative democracy, has the question of cultural diversity taken its place at the heart of political public spaces and citizen participation? Do modes of media regulation including this issue articulate it with youth practices? Finally, in the context of relations between the economy and culture that characterize the cultural industries, what place is there for cultural diversity?

So this Approach 3 places the issue of diversity at the heart of cultural industries in a transnational and possibly comparative approach, which seeks to grasp the phenomena of cultural adaptation, as well as the development of inter/transnational educational markets.

For this conference, multidisciplinary and international approaches will be highly appreciated. In order to offer a powerful and critical look at these issues, a discussion will be engaged with social and political actors in the professional media world.

Abstracts should be submitted by December 17, 2014 in French or English (maximum 5,000 characters, including spaces, Times New Roman, font size 12, single spaced, 5 keywords, one title) to the address jeunesetmedias.events@gmail.com. All proposals will be evaluated double-blind by the scientific committee. Proposals and papers may be given in English or French.

In the email, please provide the following information: first name, name, email address, academic/professional status, university and research centre affiliation, title of the paper. Please send the paper proposal itself in an attached document in .doc format with your name (FirstnameName.doc). In the paper, on the other hand, you are asked to respect anonymity, even if you are referring to some of your previous publications.

Selected papers will be grouped in an academic publication whose terms will be specified later.


Deadline for submissions: December 17, 2014

Notification of acceptance: January 30, 2015

Conference: April 2 and 3, 2015

For publication:

Sending texts for evaluation: June 1, 2015

Notification of Assessment: September 30, 2015

Submission of final texts: November 10, 2015

Expected Publication: Spring 2016

Scientific committee

  • Christian Agbobli (Professor, UQAM, GERACII, Quebec)
  • Baptiste Campion (IHECS, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium)
  • Sirin Dilli (Lecturer, HDR, University of Giresun, Turkey)
  • Pierre Fastrez (Professor, UCL, Belgique)
  • Claire Frachon (Media and Diversity Expert, European Council)
  • Alec Hargreaves (Professor, University of the State of Florida, Winthrop-King Institute, USA)
  • Angeliki Koukoutsaki-Monnier (Lecturer, University of Haute-Alsace, CREM, France)
  • Christine Larrazet (Lecturer, University of Bordeaux, Centre Emile Durkheim, France)
  • Guy Lochard (Emeritus Professor, University of Paris 3, CIM, France)
  • Tristan Mattelart (Professor, University of Paris 8, CEMTI, France)
  • Maria Ranieri (Lecturer, University of Florence, Italy)
  • Virginie Sassoon (Twiki Productions, IFP, CARISM, France)
  • Aude Seurat (Lecturer, University of Paris 13, LABSIC, France)
  • Daya Thussu (Professor, University of Westminster, UK)
  • Carsten Wilhelm (Lecturer, University of Haute-Alsace, CRESAT, France)

Organization committee

  • Paul de Theux (Director of Média Animation)
  • Isabelle Feroc Dumez (University of Poitiers, ESPE, Laboratoire TECHNE)
  • Marlène Loicq (President of Centre d’études sur les jeunes et les médias)
  • Jérémie Nicey (University of Tours, Laboratoire CIM-MCPN)
  • Anne Claire Orban (International Project Manager, Media Animation)
  • Isabelle Rigoni (INS HEA, Grhapes / Centre Émile Durkheim / MICA)
  • Patrick Verniers (President of Master en Éducation aux médias IHECS)


    Brussels, Belgium


  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014


  • jeunes, médias, diversité, réception, production, industries culturelles


  • Marlène Loicq
    courriel : marleneloicq [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Marlène Loicq
    courriel : marleneloicq [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Youth, media and diversities », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, https://calenda.org/303264

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