Media technologies, cultural mobility, and the nation-state

Authored by: Scott McQuire

Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138288621
eBook ISBN: 9781315267784
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the ways in which media technologies have been implicated in the production of distinctive modes of communication and social action that underpin the spatio-temporal frames constitutive of modern social life. The author traces the formative role of industrial media such as the press and broadcasting in the emergence of the nation-state as the dominant social and cultural frame in the twentieth century. He then argues that contemporary digital networks exacerbate key tensions and contradictions that characterize the national public sphere, and are implicated in the production of new postnational patterns of cultural affiliation and belonging. However, the development of a truly cosmopolitan global public sphere will demand further change, including greater diversification of globally dominant digital platforms, and the development of new models for conducting lateral cultural exchanges.

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