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Introduction: ‘In an Era of Fear and Division, Fiction Plays a Vital Role in Dramatising Difference and Encouraging Empathy’

  • Melanie Ramdarshan Bold
Chapter

Abstract

Ramdarshan Bold offers a much-needed summary of the relationship between the media and representations of marginalised groups, focusing on UKYA books, publishing, and authors. The introduction outlines the rationale and justification for this book and situates this study in relation to other critical and academic examinations of ‘race’ and racism in the media. Focusing on the backlash against multiculturalism, and the anti-immigrant sentiment that arose after Brexit and the 2016 USA Presidential elections, Ramdarshan Bold provides a comprehensive argument to why counter-narratives are as important now as they were during the Civil Rights Movements (in the USA). Drawing upon Rudine Sims Bishop’s seminal work, and the We Need Diverse Books social media movement, Ramdarshan Bold highlights how representation in cultural output for children and teenagers is particularly important since this lack of inclusivity influences how ‘diverse’, young readers see themselves and how readers, from a more dominant culture, see and understand ‘diversity’. This chapter also details the mixed-method approach undertaken to complete this original study. There is little literature available covering these issues, so the original material (obtained through the interviews) will build an overview and address this balance. While this study is grounded in established theoretical frameworks, new modes of enquiry are required to respond to these emerging, and complex, issues and discussions.

Keywords

Multiculturalism Race and racism Media Racism in the media Cultural industries Cultural production We Need Diverse Books Representation Counter-narratives Diversity Inclusivity UKYA 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie Ramdarshan Bold
    • 1
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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