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Media of three degrees. Guest lecture IT University Copenhagen, April 8, 2008 Klaus Bruhn Jensen Professor kbj@hum.ku.dk. Preview. New technologies ---> new definitions of ’media’ and ’communication’ Systematics with a history: how many periods of media history? Media of three degrees

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media of three degrees
Department of Media, Cognition, and Communication

Media of three degrees

Guest lecture

IT University

Copenhagen, April 8, 2008

Klaus Bruhn Jensen

Professor

kbj@hum.ku.dk

preview
Department of Media, Cognition, and CommunicationPreview
  • New technologies ---> new definitions of ’media’ and ’communication’
    • Systematics with a history: how many periods of media history?
  • Media of three degrees
    • Human media, mass media, network media
    • Contemporary theory - and historical hindsight
  • Media types and communicative functions
    • Availability - information
    • Accessibility - communicators
    • Performativity - social action
  • Case: climate change
    • We communicate for our lives...
    • ...but how do we know?
    • ...and what can we do about it?
media and communication
Department of Media, Cognition, and Communication’Media’ and ’communication’
  • What’s in a term?
    • ’Communication’
      • General notion since mid-1800s
      • ”mass communication came first” (Peters, 1999)...
      • ...what comes after mass communication?
  • What’s in a name?
    • IAMCR
      • 1957: International Association for Mass Communication Research
      • 1996: International Association for Media and Communication Research
  • Double hermeneutics
    • (Social) sciences redefine conceivable realities - with practical consequences (Marx, Freud) (Giddens, 1979)
    • Media as publicly accessible resources conditioning the social construction of reality (Berger & Luckmann, 1966)
three classic concepts
Department of Media, Cognition, and CommunicationThree classic concepts
  • Information
    • ...a difference that makes a difference (Bateson, 1972)
    • ...data that have been organized and communicated (Porat, 1977)
    • Meta-information: principles of organization
  • Communication
    • Discursive practices that articulate meaning and orient agency
    • Meta-communication: relationships between communicators in contexts of action (Bateson, 1955)
  • Action
    • Communication as action (speech acts, Austin 1962)
    • Action as communication (from non-verbal interaction to 9/11)
    • Communication anticipating action - the necessary end of doubt, delay, and deliberation
case climate change
Department of Media, Cognition, and CommunicationCase: climate change
  • Climate change...
    • ...only articulated as public issue from c. 1960 (Lamb, 1995)
    • ...people acting locally on the basis of available and accessible information
    • ...raises the stakes of communication to the global level of the human species
  • Availability
    • Data on: tree rings, ice cores, grain prices, wine harvests
    • Sources on: everyday life and social change
  • Accessibility
    • Multiple registers and steps of communication: ’translation’ of findings for public use
    • Simple Google search (February 21, 2008)
      • ”climate change”: only ’green’ and ’official’ voices in Top 20
      • ”global warming”: ’green’ as well as ’skeptical’ voices in Top 20
      • - search terms as meta-information framing accessible information
  • Performativity
    • Naming as meta-communication for organization and action:
      • globalwarming.net: Extreme Event Index
      • globalwarming.org: ”reasoned thinking comes from cooler heads”
communicative functions of media
Department of Media, Cognition, and CommunicationCommunicative functions of media
  • Availability
    • Articulation of information in specific forms (or not)
    • Ex: scientific data on global warming
  • Accessibility
    • Communication makes information accessible in contexts of deliberation and action
    • Ex: representation and debate - media, schools, archives, etc.
  • Performativity
    • Information as communicated constitutes a resource of action at the micro, meso, and macro levels of social structure
    • Ex: consumer habits, environmental organizations, corporate social responsibility, international treaties
media of the third degree
Department of Media, Cognition, and CommunicationMedia of the third degree
  • Availability
    • Digitalization as structural condition of the strategic role of information in material production and social governance - ’a networked information economy’ (Benkler, 2006)
  • Accessibility
    • Internet = global archive + immediate distribution (Finnemann, 2005) - ’mass medium’
    • Reciprocal accessibility: meta-information and meta-communication by common user - ’interpersonal medium’
  • Performativity
    • Micro coordination of everyday social relations
    • Meso organization of, e.g., e-banking and e-government
    • Macro configuration of political, cultural, and economic institutions
media of the second degree
Department of Media, Cognition, and CommunicationMedia of the second degree
  • Availability
    • Mechanical reproduction of information as structural condition of modern forms of science and politics - ’Renaissance and Reformation’ (Eisenstein, 1979)
  • Accessibility
    • Standardized resources as disseminated across time and space
    • Social stratification and/vs. universal market
  • Performativity
    • Mass communication as source of socialization and institutionalization - ’imagined communities’ (Anderson, 1983)
    • Public opinion as indirect resource of political participation
media of the first degree
Department of Media, Cognition, and CommunicationMedia of the first degree
  • Availability
    • Aliquid stat pro aliquo - reference and reflexivity
    • Multimodal body as structural condition of human civilization
  • Accessibility
    • Communication as event rather than representation
    • Information as resource in local time and space
  • Performativity
    • Tradition as process - reproduction of worldviews and instruments (Goody & Watt, 1963)
    • Cumulation of contextual interactions (e.g., two-step flow, Lazarsfeld et al., 1944; online social networking that extends offline networks (boyd & Ellison, 2007))
periodization revisited
Department of Media, Cognition, and CommunicationPeriodization revisited
  • Medium theory (Meyrowitz, 1994)
    • Oral, scribal, print, electronic cultures
  • Media history with hindsight
    • After 1994:digital culture as add-on?
    • ’Manuscript media’?
      • Externalization and fixation of available information
      • Secondary, selective accessibility: mediated literacy (Briggs & Burke, 2005: 27) (downward dissemination)
      • Performativity as transformative capacity - at systemic level (Benkler 2006: individual as moral, cultural agent)
    • Electronic vs. print media?
      • Degrees of simultaneity, multimodality, and flow of information
      • Mass accessibility to 2 types of standardized resources
      • Limited performativity in relation to public resources of articulation and participation
review
Department of Media, Cognition, and CommunicationReview
  • From ’media’ to ’communication’
    • New technologies ---> new definitions of ’media’ and ’communication’
    • Beyond technological convergence - communicative differentiation
    • Communicative functions
      • Availability - information
      • Accessibility - communicators
      • Performativity - social action
  • Media of three degrees
    • Human media, mass media, and network media in new cultural configuration
    • Communication across online / offline and mediated / unmediated categories
    • We have always been converged, communicating via any and all material resources being afforded in context
  • Periodization of media history
    • Periods: 3, 5, 1 per medium or media type...
    • Humans as media: primary, secondary, and tertiary orality