Post or Perish? – Scholarly Communication Practices on Social Media in Times of Deep Mediatization

Franziska Thiele, Corinna Luethje


The rise of the Internet and social media has introduced profound changes to (media-related) practices and communication strategies to accumulate power in the field of science. These are often described as the result of a (deep) mediatization of science with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the effects of (deep) mediatization further. The aim of this paper is to identify field-specific social media practices to accumulate capital in the field of science and analyze how they have been changed in the wake of (deep) mediatization processes. The paper does so by using the concept of field-specific mediatization as a theoretical basis. The empirical part of the study builds on 55 qualitative interviews with German-speaking scholars that were conducted in 2016. It compares their description of social media usage and communication strategies to accumulate power to scholarly practices currently conducted under the influence of the pandemic as described in the literature. The results of the analysis show that scholars accumulate capital by networking (social capital), accessing and sharing information and publications (cultural capital) and increasing their visibility (symbolic capital). Due to field-specific processes of mediatization of the field, external communication has become more important and internal communication has gained a more personal quality. Overall, formerly clear-cut boundaries of internal and external target groups as well as personal and professional spheres have become more blurred and pressure connected to visibility enhanced.


deep mediatization; social media; scholarly communication; academia; Bourdieu; capital; pandemic

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Data publikacji: 2022-06-07 09:57:10
Data złożenia artykułu: 2021-07-29 16:24:45


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