Mediating Urban Politics


Despite the turn to relational vocabularies in urban theory, most work on urban politics acknowledging the importance of media has tended to reproduce a centred image of ‘the media’ and a functionalist account of mediation. This essay suggests, by contrast, that media might be understood more phenomenologically, as those technologies embedded in the dispersed practices of urban life, and as assemblages of integrative practices (i.e. ‘the media’), both of which identify and subject to action a range of issues that are problematized as ‘urban’. Such a focus on media‐in‐practices is an important shift in perspective for research hoping to bring together the shared political concerns of urban and media studies, and to take advantage of the converging spatial imaginations and reconfigured understandings of mediation emerging across both fields.