Skip to main content

The provocation of the humanitarian social imaginary

Wilkinson, Iain M. (2013) The provocation of the humanitarian social imaginary. Visual Communication, 12 (3). pp. 261-276. ISSN 1470-3572. (doi:10.1177/1470357213483061) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1470357213483061

Abstract

This article reviews recent attempts to analyse the visibility that is brought to human suffering within 'social imaginaries' committed to humanitarian concerns. It questions the conventions of critique that operate to cast the humanitarian social imaginary as a negative development within our political culture. It is designed to encourage a more critically reflexive and historically informed approach to the work of critique. It also argues that it is possible to trace a tradition in which humanitarian campaigners operate with the aim of appropriating the critical reaction to their work as part of their political strategy. In this regard, campaigners are more concerned to provoke moral controversy than to fashion 'winning arguments'. Here the visualization of human suffering is valued more for its potential to generate value conflicts than for the extent to which it serves as an authentic or ideologically uncontaminated representation of social reality.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1470357213483061
Uncontrolled keywords: communication media, critical theory, humanitarianism, suffering, sympathy, visual
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2013 11:35 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:37 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/37391 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):