Ethnic Media and Counterhegemony: Agonistic Pluralism, Policy, and Professionalism

John Budarick


In this article I use Chantal Mouffe’s theory of agonistic pluralism as a framework through which to analyze the actual and potential role of ethnic media as facilitators of counterhegemonic discourses in Australia and other liberal democracies. The pluralist approach provides a powerful way to circumvent the integration-fragmentation divide that often inhibits both political and academic understandings of ethnic media. It articulates a political culture that can sustain and respond to counterhegemonic movements and has at its center the transformation of differing political identities from enemies into adversaries. Two areas of the current media landscape are analyzed: policy and professionalism. It is argued that both are far from simple in the way they shape ethnic media’s counterhegemonic potential, and in its current form each presents an adaptable and flexible hegemonic position that must be exposed to further the democratic potential of ethnic media.




agonistic pluralism, ethnic media, democracy, media policy, journalistic professionalism

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