Mediatization: a concept to grasp the changing forms of life in the context of media development

Prof Friedrich Krotz, (University of Erfurt)

CG04, Henry Grattan Building, DCU 15:00 :: 5th November 2009

Today the changing media more and more become part of all areas of life in the industrial societies and beyond: Children grow up with computer games, young people and adults include the mobile phone into their habitus and are connected all the time or again and again with others. Their social relations and their identity and also the conditions under which they work and manage their everyday life must be studied with reference to the mediated forms of communication. The internet becomes something like the central vegetative system of the world, as enterprises, banks and the societal institutions use it for internal and external communication. Also, science and education, politics, government, culture and sense making processes today cannot be understood without taking the digital media into consideration. And the development still goes on, as engineers and enterprises develop devices, content and services, as people use them for their purposes and thus convert the digital media into social and cultural objects and practises. The concept “Mediatization” tries to grasp these developments theoretically. It intends to order the empirical research on the changing forms of life induced by media, and to link them to existing theories, e.g. from Mead and Elias, Hall, Habermas, and Bourdieu. The approach of course mainly refers to communication science and sociology and understands the media development in the context of globalization, commercialization and other long- term (meta-) processes. It aims to support the civil society as the underlying sovereign of a democratic society against the growing influence of economy, government and bureaucracy on everyday life.

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