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How can we theorise media practices?

August 28, 2008

I have just sent through the post to Berghahn Books two copies of the manuscript Bräuchler, B. and J. Postill (eds) (forthcoming) Theorising Media and Practice. Oxford and New York : Berghahn. This has been an arduous but immensely rewarding process so far. Now we need to wait for the reader to get back to us with suggestions for revision and then we’ll be on our way to publication.

Meanwhile I’ve posted on this blog summaries of most chapters (see under Categories, Media and Practice book) and there is now also a copy of my own Introduction to the book available here — but do bear in mind that this is not the final version.

In the Introduction I review the practice theory and media studies (esp. media anthropology) literatures and argue that practice theory has a great deal to offer media studies, although not as the field’s next paradigm (pace Couldry and Hobart, this volume) but rather as a theoretical strand to add to existing strands. I single out three media research themes as being of particular relevance to a practice perspective: media in everyday life, media and the body, and media production. To support this case I give a number of examples ranging from the worlds of illegal parachute jumping and BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination/submission, and sadomasochism) in the United States to new digital technologies and everyday domestic life in Denmark to my own research on indigenous media in East Malaysia and internet activism in West Malaysia.


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