The Mediatization of Culture

The starting point for the research priority area is the classic media-sociological question of what media do to culture. Culture should here be understood in the broad sense of society and its various institutions, as well as human interaction on the level of individuals. However, the question is sought answered in a new context characterized by the mediatization of culture.

The classic question took it for granted that the media could be thought of as separate from culture, and therefore focused on determining the effect of media on institutions and individuals. Present society is permeated with media to such a degree that the media cannot be conceptually separated from the other institutions of both culture and society.

The question instead concerns how the cultural circuits have had their character, function and meaning transformed as a consequence of the omnipresence and intervention of the media. A central area of inquiry will be to map how traditional institutions of politics, religion, market economy, art, etc. are subjected to the logics of media aesthetics and media technology synchronously with the adoption of new cultural functions by the media themselves.

In connection with the more empirically oriented sections of the project, a theoretical discussion will be carried out with the intention of determining a conceptual understanding of the character and logic of mediatization across institutional contexts.

The research priority area will draw upon a number of interdisciplinary Danish and international research networks and programs, including High-tension Aesthetics: Ethics and Aesthetics in Contemporary Media, sponsored by the Danish Research Council, and Nordic Research Network on the Mediatization of Religion and Culture, which is financed by NordForsk for a 3-year period.