Deep mediatization

Media institutions’ changing relations to the social

Authored by: Nick Couldry

Routledge Handbook of Digital Media and Communication

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138672093
eBook ISBN: 9781315616551
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315616551-23

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Abstract

Media are ways of organizing communication. The relationship between media in this broad sense and the very possibility of social order is so basic that it is hard to see: its operations are almost entirely naturalized. The key institutions of modernity (corporations and trade unions, communities and churches, civil society organizations and governments) have been organized on the basis of a particular set of relations between media and everyday life (social, economic, political). But what if those relations are changing? What if those relations are now being disrupted by a new and distinct pattern of institutionalization through ‘media’? Under conditions of intensified production and circulation of communication – and radically transformed market competition – the set of institutions we still call ‘media’ demand a reinterpretation of how social life is ordered through media, indeed of the role that institutional concentrations of power such as media now play in social order itself. This chapter hopes to unpack this deep transformation that is under way today.

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