Authored by: Anne Kaun

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138665569
eBook ISBN: 9781315619811
Adobe ISBN:


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This entry will discuss temporality in the context of citizen media from two perspectives. Firstly, in terms of the temporalities of media technologies and secondly, the temporalities of civic engagement. The aim is to tease out how the temporalities of media technologies relate to the temporalities of civic engagement. Taking the perspective of the social shaping of technology, the entry presents key theoretical discussions and empirical findings on the relationship between temporal regimes of media technologies and their consequences for civic agency. While acknowledging the crucial role of technology for our perception of time, the contribution questions technological determinism and digital exceptionalism overemphasizing the role of media technologies for political engagement. It proposes instead a dialectical approach towards media technologies’ temporality. This entails understanding technology as a cultural form as proposed by Raymond Williams (1974), namely as expressions of larger social and political structures rather than being independent of them. Hence it is important to consider the cultural, political, economic and social configuration within which certain media technologies, including civic media, emerge.

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