Inclusion as Deliberative Agency: The Selective Representation of Poor Women in Debates and Documentaries about Reproductive Health

Nicole CURATO, Jonathan Ong

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    4 Citations (Scopus)
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    Mass media play a double-edged role in promoting deliberative democracy: they enforce hierarchies in public discussion by prioritizing the voice of particular groups, yet they remain the best, if not the only institution that can temper inequalities in deliberation, particularly in their capacity to grant ordinary people opportunities for voice in deliberative settings. We put forward two criteria that can assess media’s capacity to enforce inclusiveness in public deliberation. A mediated deliberative system is inclusive if it (1) proactively gives visibility and voice to vulnerable groups to be seen and heard on their terms and (2) allows those with less power to act as “deliberative agents” capable of facing their interlocutors, articulating, defending, and considering one’s views. We provide empirical context to this argument through the case of the Reproductive Health debates in the Philippines, as they played out in two different television genres that differently accentuate deliberative agency.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)576-594
    Number of pages19
    JournalTelevision and New Media
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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