Fudan Dec 09 New Trends

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Fudan Dec 09 New Trends

  1. 1. New Trends in Theorizing Media Communication Thomas A. Bauer University of Vienna Guestlecture at Fudan University School of Journalism Dec 09 www.thomasbauer.at
  2. 2. change of paradigms in communication science • • from communication science to communication studies: The subject of communication science is not communication (cognitivism / ontologism / behaviourism/ essentialisms) but how the society considers communication - (reflexive-constructive perspective: observation of observation • from analyzing communication to understanding communication phenomena: interpretative paradigm, exemplary understanding • from structure-view of communication to culture-view of society (cultural studies , discourse analysis ) • cultural turn: from social science to cultural science ( new conceptualization of social theory as grounded theory, Cultural Studies as a theoretical perspective
  3. 3. streams as versions of the cultural turn • constructivist paradigm: the world of reality is constructed through observation and exchange of meaning of observation • practice-paradigm: in the centre of research is the assumption, that there is a special relation between social practice and collective schemes of knowledge and interpretation (knowledge as a category of practice, not of truth – based on phenomenology, , structuralism, ling. Philos. Wittgenstein) • autopoiesis-paradigm: cognitive systems create an observer-related reality by applying meanings (sense) to environmental stimuli. the radical constructivism does not create a theory of acting, but a theory of cognition (construction of cognitive systems) • text-paradigm: the social-cultural world are connections (system) of symbols /signs, which reproduce themselves in discourses. The socio-cultural world appears as a text, as an symbolic order, which do not depict connections, but which create objectives and connections.
  4. 4. cultural turn in theorizing communication • on the level of epistemology: constructivist theory of notion constructivist knowledge-sociology (critiques of theory of reflection) scientific theories are symbolic orders, they produce meanings • on the level of methodology: hermeneutics & ethno-methodology from quantitative methods to qualitative methods. The symbolic structure of social world demands interpretative methods – not only consideration or observation, but understanding of sense • on the level of social theory: grounded theory & phenomenology the attention goes to the cultural constitution of social milieus, their models of creating and generating meanings, to the question of how models of sense are generated (cf. Symbolic politics: the social world (realtions9 is constituted by symbolic orders, by collective models of meanings: sense is not a norm or a purpose to do something, but is creating and sharing meanings – only communication makes world meaningful • on the level of research interests: theory as the break of everyday routines new questions relate to three streams:
  5. 5. cultural turn in theorizing media • critiques on essentialist theory: media as a technical or organizational mechanism the plausibility of nature-science-models (formal languages) has used out: objectivity, causality, normativity, mathematicity, technicity, mechanicity – as too weak models of explanation for a complex phenomenon • media as a contextual model of use of infrastructure media is not an item in between of partners, but is an agreement on a setting of relation, an intrinsic negotiation within symbolic interaction • Media as an agency (passage) of social practice media is a connection of social action and social observation, a frame of supposition of general knowledge and through that a reference of social habitus in media society • from media to mediality Media defines the character of communication as communication is done in the model of media: mediality and/or mediatization is the relevant phenomenon

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