Media Life (version 1.0)

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Date
2009-10-04
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Abstract
Research since the early years of the 21st century consistently shows how through the years more of our time gets spent using media, how being concurrently exposed to media has become a foundational feature of everyday life, and that consuming media for most people increasingly takes place alongside producing media. Contemporary media devices, what people do with them, and how all of this fits in the organization of our everyday life disrupt and unsettle well-established views of the role media play in society. Instead of continuing to wrestle with a distinction between media and society, this contribution proposes we begin our thinking with a view of life not lived with media, but in media. The media life perspective starts from the realization that the whole of the world and our lived experience in it can be seen as framed by, mitigated through, and made immediate by (immersive, integrated, ubiquitous and pervasive) media. In this presentation, the media life perspective is developed by correlating the claims of contemporary social theory with recent reports on media use among teenagers around the world.
Description
First version of an essay that is scheduled for publication (in different iterations) in a forthcoming issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly, and as a contributing chapter in a forthcoming work on media studies for the 21st century (publisher: Routledge).
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new media, social philosophy, social theory, media theory, digital culture, media culture, media life
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Working Paper