Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Dr Jason Vincent Cabañes

Lecturer in International Communication; Deputy Director of Research and Innovation & Programme Leader, BA Communication and Media

0113 343 5803

Clothworkers' Building North, Room 2.27

Office hours: by appointment outside of teaching term time

BA (magna cum laude) (Ateneo de Manila), MA (Ateneo de Manila), PhD (Leeds)


I started as Lecturer at the School of Media and Communication in 2014. Previous to this, I worked at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines as Lecturer in Media Studies (2005-2013) and concurrently as Programme Coordinator for the MA in Journalism (2012-2013). I also held a full PhD Scholarship at the University of Leeds (2009-2012) and an ASEAN Graduate Research Fellowship at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (2007).

Research Interests

My research is primarily about using ethnographic approaches to explore:

(1) how the media contribute to shaping the texture of people’s experiences of migration and multiculturalism. My current research projects are on how ICTs matter to migrant intimacies and solidarities in the cities of both the ‘West’ and the ‘postcolonies’. My previous works include studies on how a collaborative photography exhibition project might mediate the voices of Manila’s Indian and Korean migrants (article in Visual Studies, 2017), how the entertainment media’s representation of Manila’s Indian and Korean diasporas are imbricated in the Philippine capital’s problematic mediation of multiculturalism (article in Media, Culture, and Society, 2014), how the mobile phone transforms the conjugal power relations between migrant mothers and left-behind fathers of Filipino families (article in New Media and Society, 2012), and how the various media used by Filipino elite migrants in London afford them a way of participating in homeland politics that is engaged but not immersed (article in South East Asia Research, 2011).

(2) how various media might be harnessed for social and political development. Within the internationally composed Netwon Tech4Dev network, I currently co-lead the research strand on digital labour in the Philippines. My previous works include studies on how Philippine mainstream media might be re-imagined in the face of the rise of online political trolls (book chapter in The Duterte Reader, 2017), how photojournalists and third sector workers might collaborate in crafting visual new stories that break the mainstream media’s stereotypes about the Muslim-dominated areas of Southern Philippines (report for World Press Photo, 2016), and how various governments from around the world have harnessed communication in their anti-corruption drives (report for The World Bank, 2008).

(3) how diverse media audiences engage with particular texts and technologies. I led a nationwide ethnographic study comparing how urban and rural Filipino families talk about and engage with local prime time television programmes (report for AGB Nielsen, 2013). I also previously studied how Filipino families domesticate the Internet (book chapter in the 10th De La Salle University Science and Technology Congress, 2008).


For academic year 2017-18, I lead the following modules:

-COMM 2811: Thinking Photographically: Developing Approaches to Photography (UG)

-COMM1970: Introduction to Media and Communication Theory (UG)

-COMM 5380M: Democratisation and the Media: Global Perspectives (PG)




I am Deputy Director of Research and Innovation and concurrently Programme Leader for BA Communication and Media.


Journal articles

  • Cabañes JVA (2017) “Migrant narratives as photo stories: on the properties of photography and the mediation of migrant voices”, Visual Studies. 32.1: 33-46.
    DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2016.1245114, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/104324/

  • Cabanes JV (2015) “Media and the city: Cosmopolitanism and difference”, JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION. 65.5: E9-E12.
    DOI: 10.1111/jcom.12178

  • Cabanes JVA (2014) “Multicultural mediations, developing world realities: Indians, Koreans and Manila’s entertainment media”, Media, Culture and Society. 36.5: 628-643.
    DOI: 10.1177/0163443714532979, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/84851/

  • Cabanes JVA (2014) “Book Review: Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World, by Eric Gordon and Adriana de Souza e Silva”, Popular Communication. 12: 69-71.
    DOI: 10.1080/15405702.2013.838468

  • Cabanes JVA, Acedera KAF (2012) “Of mobile phones and mother-fathers: Calls, texts, and conjugal power relations of mother-away Filipino families”, New Media and Society. 14.6: 916-930.
    DOI: 10.1177/1461444811435397, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/120799/

  • Ong JC, Cabanes JVA (2011) “Engaged but not immersed: Tracking the mediated public connection of Filipino elite migrants in London”, South East Asia Research. 19.2: 197-224.
    DOI: 10.5367/sear.2011.0044


  • Cabanes JVA, Cornelio JS (2017) “The rise of trolls in the Philippines (and what we can do about it)”, In: Curato N (eds.) A Duterte Reader: Critical Essays on the Early Presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. (Accepted)
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/118804/

  • Cabanes JVA (2011) “The Philippines”, In: Barnett GA (eds.) Encyclopedia of Social Networks. Sage. 706-708

  • Cabanes JVA (2009) “Pinoy postings: On the online cultural identity performances of young Filipino professionals in Singapore”, In: Banerjee I; Muppidi SR (eds.) Changing Media, Changing Societies: Media and the Millennium Development Goals. Singapore: Asian Media Information and Communication Centre. 158-190

  • Cabanes JVA (2008) “Net negotiations: How Filipino families domesticate the Internet”, In: Proceedings of the 10th DLSU Science & Technology Congress. Manila: De La Salle University. 29-31


  • Cabanes JVA (2012) Project kuwento (story): A qualitative approach to understandingTV audiences in urban and rural Philippines. Manila: AGB Nielsen.

  • Cabanes JVA (2008) Case studies on communication and anti-corruption efforts. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.

Research Centres & Groups

At the School of Media and Communication, I am Convenor of the Visual Media and Communication Research Group. I am also a member of the Digital Research Group and the Global Communication Research Group.

External Appointments

I am Book Reviews Editor for Television and New Media (2013-present).

PhD Thesis

TITLE: Through Migrant Lenses: Indians, Koreans and the Mediation of Diasporic Voices in Manila

ABSTRACT: This study had two key aims: to understand the how the mediation of multiculturalism in Manila marginalised the city’s Indian and Korean diasporas and, more importantly, to “interrupt” (Pinchevsky, 2005) this problematic mediation by exploring whether and how a collaborative photography exhibition project might create a space that fosters the voices of these migrants. To address these two concerns, I did life story interviews of seventeen Indian and fifteen Korean diasporas from Manila, six focus group discussions with local Filipinos from Manila, an impressionistic analysis of contemporary Philippine mainstream media, and participant observation of Shutter Stories, which was a collaborative exhibition project that I worked on together with Manila’s Indians and Koreans and with two photography scholars from one of Manila’s top universities. By weaving together these rich and diverse data sets, this study provides a nuanced counterpoint to extant works that focus on understanding multiculturalism in the cities of the developed world. In particular, it reveals that although Manila’s Indians and Koreans tend to be economically superior to the city’s local Filipinos, they are nevertheless symbolically marginalised. This is most evident in the problematic mediation of multiculturalism in Manila, the dynamics of which are characterised by what I call the cycle of strangeness and estrangement. Together with this, one other key contribution of this study is that it maps out the complexities of how a collaborative photography exhibition project might create a space for marginalised voices that can challenge dominant social discourses, such as the mediation of multiculturalism in Manila. As regards the photographic mediation of voice, this study underscores the importance of considering both how the various properties of the photograph are activated in the context of production and of consumption, as well as how the various practices of photography might be harnessed in a way that balances the call for both ethics (that is, the desire for marginalised to have a voice) and aesthetics (that is, the desire to ensure that the voices of the marginalised will be engaging enough to be heard). And as regards the social mediation of voice, this study reveals that the already difficult task of helping marginalised groups, such as migrant cultural minorities, to articulate stories that are in line with their personal life projects is made complicated by the need to also think about the much more difficult task of helping establish a society that is willing to foster such voices.



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