Mediatization Studies and Cultural Studies: A Possible Dialogue for Further Critical Analysis?

Myriam Durocher

Abstract


Over the last decades, it has been possible to observe an increasing amount of research having for common assumption the impossibility to dissociate changes which occur within medias, culture and society. Mediatization theories, particularly developed in Scandinavian countries, and American configurations of cultural studies utilize interesting tools and conceptual material to think about the transformations that occur within the social field. Both encourage questioning the power relations and struggles that inform those transformations. However, their manner of conceiving and using “culture” and “media” as conceptual tools for analysis differ, bringing multiple and diverging ways to study and question objects, phenomenon and processes. These two approaches do not appear as irreconcilable and would take advantage of being put in dialogue as a way to see how they can possibly complement each other. For example, by enriching their mutual understanding of power and, therefore, their critical character. This article draws points of tension and convergence between cultural studies and mediatization studies. It explores cultural studies' focus on (cultural) practices as a privileged site to analyse power relations and their ongoing negotiations by and through media. This approach may resonate or complement Couldry’s (2004) proposal for a paradigm of media as practice “to help us address how media are embedded in the interlocking fabric of social and cultural life” (p. 129). This dialogue between mediatization theories and cultural studies is being put to the forefront with the hope it may allow further discussions and relevant theoretical avenues for critical research located within both fields. Thinking of this possible interplay let foresee the possibility of questioning objects, processes and phenomenon in a critical perspective in a context produced and characterised by medias’ omnipresence. It would allow researchers to question the power struggles that are negotiated through practices themselves, without neglecting the consideration that most of these practices are made by, with or within media.  


Keywords


mediatization studies, cultural studies, media, power, culture, practices

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/ms.2017.1.31
Data publikacji: 2017-11-13 07:43:57
Data złożenia artykułu: 2017-01-19 22:16:18

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