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Mediatization of popular culture
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9419-4883
2014 (English)In: Mediatization of Communication / [ed] Lundby, Knut, Berlin/Boston: Mouton de Gruyter, 2014, 483-504 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Popular culture is often understood as being linked to mass media and therefore also implicated in the idea of mediatization. Here this is discussed in four main steps. (1) First, key problems in the concept of mediatization are illuminated, with popular culture as a testing ground: if there is always such a mediatization process going on; when (in which periods) this process is particularly intense and how it develops over time (gradually or in leaps); where (in which world regions) it can be located; how it has any effects (if it follows a relatively fixed logic or is more diffuse); and what it affects in terms of societal spheres and levels of practice. (2) Second, four main dimensions of the concept of culture are distinguished – cultivation, life forms, aesthetics, and signifying practice – all of which are found relevant to mediatization. As media are cultural technologies of communication, there is a close link between mediatization and culturalization. (3) Third, popular culture is similarly divided into four main meanings, defining it as mass culture, people’s culture, low culture, or illegitimized culture. (4) On this basis, examples illustrate how mediatization processes affect popular culture through four main phases, each linked to a new demarcation of popular culture itself: graphic mediatization of common culture, print mediatization of low culture, audiovisual mediatization of media culture, and digital mediatization of what again is becoming a more or less indistinguishable common culture.

            Popular culture frequently appears to be one of the most media-saturated spheres or fields of modern societies. It is sometimes even identified with media culture, for instance when contrasted with fine arts and folk handicrafts, and defined through its reliance on mass mediated texts disseminated by cultural industries to dispersed polymorphous audiences all over the globe. This closeness between popular culture and media processes poses a challenge for any effort to more precisely scrutinize whether there is any escalating increase in this kind of media presence, which would deserve to be labeled mediatization.

            In order to bring some clarity to this slightly paradoxical situation, it is helpful to first make some conceptual groundwork. This chapter will first analyze how the concepts of media and mediatization relate to culture and culturalization. Then, a similar discussion follows of popular culture, leading up to an effort to draft a provisional sketch of key steps in the mediatization history of popular culture. This will finally also make it possible to return to the initial definition of mediatization and reconsider its very basis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin/Boston: Mouton de Gruyter, 2014. 483-504 p.
Series
Handbooks of Communication Science, ISSN 2199-6288 ; 21
Keyword [en]
mediatization, media studies, history, popular culture, cultural studies
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-24307ISBN: 978-3-11-027193-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-24307DiVA: diva2:735486
Available from: 2014-07-28 Created: 2014-07-28 Last updated: 2015-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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