Everyday Theories About Media Change
Using the concept of mediatization as a starting point, my PhD Project investigates how people perceive media change in their everyday life and how media change becomes constructed narratively in people’s descriptive use of everyday theories.
The meta process of mediatization – which refers to the increasing saturation of media in our society, culture and everyday life – denotes a concept for analysing the interrelation between changes in media communication on the one hand and culture and society on the other hand as a social process (Hjarvard 2008; Krotz 2007; Hepp/Hjarvard/Lundby 2010).
Starting with this concept, media change can be seen as a transformation not only of the media themselves, but (also) of media communication, of our communicative environments and our communicative possibilities. Presuming that our reality is a result of individual communicative constructions (Keller/Knoblauch/Reichertz 2013), in which everyday knowledge plays a crucial role for reducing our reality’s complexity (Berger/Luckmann 1966), the aim of this PhD project is to analyse how people perceive and define this transformation by using everyday theories.
The main questions in this context are: how do people construct media change in their own individual perspective by narrating it? What do patterns of narration on media change look like and which everyday theories do people construct in their interpretations regarding media change?
To examine these questions in my PhD project, I am going to conduct a secondary analysis of two data sets, consisting of about 60 qualitative interviews, which were conducted with with people between 30 and 60 years of age within the context of the projects „A Qualitative Longitudinal Study About the Mediatization of Social Relationships: Testing and Improving the Methods“ (DFG Priority Program „Mediatized Worlds“) and „The Transnationalization of Public Spheres in the EU: Citizens' (re)actions“ (CRC „Transformations Of The State“).
The main point here is that none of the interviews has been addressing the question of how the interviewees perceive media change. A closer look into the interviews however shows that the interviewees do make statements about media change without being asked to do so. Here, it becomes evident that media change is a topic that highly affects people’s everyday life, not only in a practical context, but also in a reflexive one. First results show that the narrative patterns and everyday theories being used to describe media change are charged with positive and negative emotions and contain judgements, identifications and generational self-positionings.