PARTICIPATION AS STRUCTURAL. A critical approach to the dynamics of power in media for social change


  • Karin Gwinn Wilkins
  • Young-Gil Chae


Media for social change refers to strategic media projects designed to advance causes for the public good. Those projects are rooted in development communication, health communication, environmental communication, social movement theories and other approaches to public communication campaigns. This emphasis is increasingly recognized as interdisciplinary, through the work of research scholars in communications, sociology and other fields, and of professionals in project implementation and evaluation. Although there has been widespread enthusiasm for the integration of participatory approaches within these comprehensive strategies, the diversity of conceptual and operational definitions of participation suggests that consideration of its complexity has not yet been exhausted. To this end, we propose considering participation as a structural consideration within the production of media strategies.

Author Biographies

Karin Gwinn Wilkins

Karin Wilkins (PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1991) is Associate Professor with the Department of Radio- TV-Film at the University of Texas at Austin, holding an affiliation with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Her research focuses on development and international communication as well as media and social change.

Young-Gil Chae

Young-Gil Chae is a doctoral candidate at the Radio- TV-Film department in the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin, U.S. He has worked with Karin G. Wilkins on the various issues of critical development communication, communications for social changes and international communication studies.