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Conway B.;Corcoran M.;Cahill L.
The 'miracle' of Fatima: Media framing and the regeneration of a Dublin housing estate
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Media representation social housing social problems stigma urban regeneration
This article examines media coverage of one local authority housing estate in Dublin with a difficult past. Fatima Mansions was built between 1949 and 1951 as part of a government policy to re-house the city's poor. The estate enjoyed a relatively unremarkable history up until the 1970s. A heroin problem developed in the estate in the 1980s and contributed to its negative media construction, such that by the end of the 1990s the estate was widely viewed as being in crisis. Beginning in the early 2000s and recently completed, a major regeneration project has seen the estate transformed with the potential finally to dislodge the negative stereotyping embedded in the estate's past. An empirical analysis of two media spaces that represented this change process shows how the media tuned into the change agenda promoted by local residents, in the process widening its frame of reference and allowing for representations with a more positive valence. The article argues that media representations of social problems may not be authoritative and media agenda-setting is more provisional and open ended than is commonly assumed. © 2011 The Author(s).
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