Introduction In general, the concept of mediatization tries to capture long-term interrelation processes between media change on the one hand and social and cultural change on the other. As institutionalized and technological means of communication, media have become integral to very different contexts of human life. The media are not just neutral instances of mediation: Media like television, radio, newspaper, the web or the mobile phone are in themselves mediators of social and cultural change. Within media and communication studies two strands of research, medium theory and effect research, have in very different ways addressed this `influence' of media on processes of social and cultural change. Medium theory describes socio-cultural change as deeply structured by the advent of a new leading medium, and constructs human history as the succession of oral, scribal, print and electronic cultures (cf. for example, Meyrowitz, 1995). Approaches of media effect research analyze the rather short-term impact of certain media content on the social world (cf. for example, Rosengren, 1994). Both kinds of approaches have contributed to the understanding of the relationship between media, culture and society, but they clearly have some shortcomings. Medium theory conceptualizes the relation between one medium and its socio-cultural
Communication & Medicine – de Gruyter
Published: Sep 1, 2010
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