Media and Time: A Critical Analysis
There are a number of different disciplines that delve into the concept of time, ranging from physics to philosophy and from economics to anthropology. Time is also a subject of interest in the field of media studies, although it still seems to be one of the most ambiguous concepts in media and communication theories. In order to point out some epistemological and methodological problems, this study aims at focusing on different uses of the concept of time in media studies. Considering that time is an under-researched if not overlooked issue in media research, this study tries to provide a theoretical framework to an emerging interest in the field. However, this study is not just an overview of the literature on the concept of time but it also has an important task of generating a new conception of time, namely a political view of time. The two interrelated objectives of this study are to develop a time-centred approach in the field of media and communication from an interdisciplinary perspective and, in doing, so contribute to the development of a new research in the field. In order to do so, a critical reading of theoretical positions and central themes will be provided in light of the following questions: i) How is time conceptualised in current research on media and communication? ii) How does time impact upon our understanding of media? iii) How can we re-conceptualise media studies through thinking about time in relation to our mediatised world? This study is divided into three parts in which different approaches to time in media studies are analyzed. The first part focuses on medium-based communication studies; the second part concentrates on studies about media production cycle and time; the third and final part deals with the concept of ‘leisure time’ in media and communication research.