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Notes on Krotz (2009) Mediatization

March 1, 2010

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that I’ve been searching for a while for ways of grasping media and societal/cultural change.  Well, the following notes may be of use in this regard. They are taken from:

Krotz, F. (2009) Mediatization: a concept with which to grasp media and societal change. In K. Lundby (ed.) Mediatization: Concept, Changes, Consequences. New York: Peter Lang.

21-22 Intro – why do we need a concept like mediatization?

Families, peer groups, schools are still the fundamental institutions in socialisation. But they are also mediatized, cannot be understood w/o media. But what do we mean by ‘mediatized’?

23-28 The concept and some underlying assumptions

23 Humans are complex communicative animals. Media = ‘something that modifies communication’

24 Mediatization = ‘a historical, ongoing, long-term process in which more and more media emerge and are institutionalized’. It is a meta-process analogous to individualisation, commercialisation and globalisation – an ordering principle that allows us to relate events and developments unfolding in different places and historical times.

Underlying assumptions of this concept:

1. mediatization is ‘grounded in the modification of communication as the basic principle of how people construct the social and cultural world’

2. compatible with ICT domestication theory (Silverstone)

3.  it is a meta-process just like globalisation or individualisation

4. media develops in non-substitutional way, i.e. new media don’t replace older media, they co-exist

5. people have access to a set of media and media functions – we call this the media environment

6. mediatization not to be confused with diffusion of innovations (Rogers 1995) which refers to ‘the distribution of a fixed innovation in a population with a clear advantage for its users’ – computers and internet not like that, don’t have ‘a fixed and unchangeable form of use’

7. must study mediatization in relation to other meta-processes (see above)

8. unlike medium theory (Innis, McLuhan, Ong, Goody) mediatization theory is a historical-processual approach not centred on medium or technology

28-31 Understanding communication

With Williams, Carey, Habermas, Sapir-Whorf etc, communication here seen from cultural or societal perspective, not behaviouristic or functional, that is, complex communication is what characterises humans and is ‘the basis of all our thinking and experiences’

Mediated and non-mediated communication are very different, and to understand societal or cultural change we must take into account mediatization.

31-32 Mediatization as a framework for empirical work

A lot of research exists on new media, but precious few broad theories.  Mediatization can be useful in the following ways:

1. Starting point should be not single medium but ‘different forms of mediated communication’ e.g. mass, interpersonal, interactive.

2. Of particular interest are changes to ‘the different fields of everyday life, culture and society’ at micro, macro and mezzo levels.

3.  [unclear paragraph.]

33-37 Theoretical relations and enlargements

Habermas, Bourdieu, Elias [this section rather unclear, drafty]

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Grae permalink
    March 21, 2010 9:17 pm

    Hey just wanted to throw out a quick thank you – I’m doing some preliminary research on domestication theory and this has been helpful in connecting it to mediatization.



  2. April 10, 2010 1:17 pm

    I’m glad to hear it was helpful. All the best with your research


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