Mutations of the Television Sector and Cultural Domestic Dispositif: Which Practices of Reception for Which (TV) Viewers?
Our doctoral project proposes to study the evolutions of reception practices for audiovisual content. We wish, moreover, to link these evolutions to the mutations in progress in the sector in which such content is broadcast, especially in the television industry. From this perspective, we want to pay special attention to one kind of content: the television series. By articulating three main theories, we would like to show that there is a process of industrialisation affecting domestic cultural practices and rituals. We wish in particular to show how the process of industrialisation and innovation generates a dispositif, as Michel Foucault defined it, which we call “cultural domestic”. Based on the numerous studies on the appropriation of television by its users, we want to show that this medium is today inserted, in the household, in a techno-info-communicational environment and in a way that is appropriate to study the practices of users, and, rather than focusing on a particular socio-technical device (in this case, television), by analysing the interrelationships and interdependencies between all devices interconnected and mobilised (computer, connected TV, smartphones etc.) through a specific practice. We thus base our theoretical framework on cultural and media studies (Morley, 1986, 1992, 2006; Grisprud, 2010) and on the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) social anchorage (Jouët, 2000; Perriault, 2008). The series reception practices seem quite relevant here because this kind of programme, on the one hand, is experiencing burgeoning success with audiences, and, on the other hand, is watched in multi-support reception frames. Moreover, we also want to focus on the evolutions of the strategies adopted by the actors in the cultural and communications industries to deal with the evolution of these reception practices and the broadcast of content via multiple platforms (cross-media, transmedia, etc.). For this reason, we will also focus on the theory of cultural industries and the economy and political communication (Flichy, 1991; Miege, 2001, 2007; Bouquillion, 2008). From a methodological standpoint, we would like to observe and interrogate the practices of users in households with different characteristics (family structure, socio-professional situation, type of housing, etc.) in order to identify the possible reception frames according to the domestic context and how the different techno-info-communicational environments are built. At the same time, we will conduct interviews with actors involved in the creation and distribution of television content (television channel, Internet operators, studios) to identify and understand the different industry strategies implemented as part of changing practices and technical innovations.