Project

COMMUNICATIVE FIGURATIONS: Research Network

Goal: Recent studies on media change, communicative construction and mediatization have demonstrated that it is not simply the effect of particular media content or a single medium that change the world. It is rather the increasing establishment of technical communication media altogether that leads to a transformation. Accordingly, understanding the significance of media for the transformation of socio-cultural realities can only be achieved when capturing transmedial communicative interweaving – what we designate as “communicative figurations”. The aim of the research network of the Universities of Bremen and Hamburg is to support research on the re-figuration of different social domains in times of deep mediatization.

Date: 1 October 2012

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Andreas Hepp
added 5 research items
This chapter describes the study of human-machine-communication (HMC) as inherently interdisciplinary. This interdisciplinarity is significant in several ways: When considering interdisciplinarity's scope, there exist narrow forms of correspondence with neighboring disciplines in media and communication studies as do broader connections with more diverse disciplines such as computer science. In regard to the types of interdisciplinarity, it must be taken into account that HMC already represents an interdisciplinary phenomenon for whose investigation the methodological and theoretical integration of approaches from different disciplines persists. When it comes to the goals of interdisciplinarity, HMC aims both at fundamental research (the so-called "epistemological orientation" of interdisciplinarity) and the application of this research, such as the development of "socio-compatible" communicative AI and communicative robots (the so-called "instrumental orientation" of interdisciplinarity). HMC's requirement for cross-compatible approaches becomes most apparent when one keeps in mind that communicative AI and communicative robots challenge the three crucial foundational concepts of media and communication studies: communication, media, and agency. It is only through an interdisciplinary approach that the possibility of rethinking these concepts is solidified in the building of purposeful foundations for empirical research.
This chapter examines the transnational Twitter followee-network of the Quantified Self (QS) and Maker movements. Based on a media ethnography as a pre-study, the following questions are addressed: How is the organisational elite of both pioneer communities connected? What patterns and peculiarities can be identified in terms of account types and thematic orientation? What similarities and differences exist between countries and between each community? The chapter sets out to explain the ways in which the organisational elite of the QS movement is represented as a network of opinion leaders, made up mostly of QS conference and meetup organisers with strong connections to tech entrepreneurs. The Maker movement is represented as a network of heterogeneous organisations which range from organisational accounts to tech companies, community platforms, and journalistic outlets as well as specific maker events and projects. Globally, both networks are dominated by members of their organisational elites which are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, which then go on to unfold their transnational influence. On this empirical basis, we argue that critical data studies should pay much more attention to the role played by pioneer communities and their partly invisible engagement in the global spread of imaginaries that promise to transform society through technology and data practices.
Juliane Jarke
added 3 research items
The promise of technology to provide solutions to the global concern of ageing populations has largely been unfulfilled. We argue that this is, in part, related to design processes that fail to take account of the rich material lives of older people, and that often adopt stereotypical views of older people as frail, vulnerable and unskilled. We draw on empirical data from two co-design projects, to suggest the contributions that material gerontologists could make to design teams creating technologies for ageing populations. We suggest material gerontologists bring three key elements to interdisciplinary design teams: (1) making visible the intra-action of humans and non-humans in co-design processes; (2) reconfiguring co-design response-ably with older adults; and (3) reimagining possible outcomes of technology design. We believe that this approach can result in the design of products, services and innovations that respond better to the heterogeneous needs and life-worlds of older adults.
This chapter is based on an analysis of Germany’s biggest education-related Twitter hashtag before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We study the reconfiguration of the central actors and topics along the #twlz hashtag to trace the change in pandemic-related communication about education. Specifically, we focus on two arguments developed by education scholars as responses to the COVID-19 crisis: educational technology providers and political actors increasingly turn to social media to mediate their COVID-19 crisis management; at the same time, educational technologies are increasingly being positioned as solutions to the educational challenges posed by the pandemic. Using an analytical framework of affinity spaces, we extend on the hashtag studies and understand the #twlz hashtag as an ongoing process of associating various actors, topics, and things. Through a mix of qualitative and quantitative analysis, we addressed questions of how educational technology providers and political actors reconfigured the #twlz affinity space and how suitable the concept of affinity space is for studying crisis through Twitter hashtags. We identify shifts in topics and actors central to the #twlz affinity space as a reaction to the national and regional educational crisis management over time and trace the practices through which these shifts unfold. With our empirical investigation of educational Twitter communication as practices of reconfiguration rather than content redistribution, we contribute to new perspectives for critical data studies (in education) conceptually and methodologically.
Juliane Jarke
added 4 research items
In this paper, we explore how the development and affordances of predictive analytics may impact how teachers and other educational actors think about and teach students and, more broadly, how society understands education. Our particular focus is on the data dashboards of learning support systems which are based on Machine Learning (ML). While previous research has focused on how these systems produce credible knowledge, we explore here how they also produce compelling, persuasive and convincing narratives. Our main argument is that particular kinds of stories are written by predictive analytics and written into their data dashboards. Based on a case study of a leading predictive analytics system, we explore how data dashboards imply causality between the 'facts' they are visualising. To do so, we analyse the stories they tell according to their spatial and temporal dimensions, characters and events, sequentiality as well as tellability. In the stories we identify, teachers are managers, students are at greater or lesser risk, and students' sociality is reduced to machine-readable interactions. Overall, only data marked as individual behaviours becomes relevant to the system, rendering structural inequalities invisible. Reflecting on the implications of these systems, we suggest ways in which the uptake of these systems can interrupt such stories and reshape them in other directions.
Bewertungspraktiken gehören zu Kernelementen des Lernens und Lehrens. Durch die zunehmende Digitalisierung des Bildungssektors entstehen neue Instrumente zur Beobachtung, Bewertung und Klassifizierung der Leistung von Lernenden und Lehrenden. Sie erlauben Auswertungen schulischer Praktiken in einer bisher nicht möglichen Komplexität und einem viel grösseren Ausmass, da sie sehr detailreich sein können, einen umfassenderen Geltungsbereich abdecken und flexibel kombiniert werden können. Dies geschieht zunehmend in Echtzeit. Der Beitrag diskutiert, wie die Zunahme von digitalen Daten und, damit verschränkt, von digitalen Bewertungspraktiken Schule nachhaltig verändert. Daten und Algorithmen werden jedoch nicht als rein technische Entitäten verstanden, sondern als Akteurinnen und Akteure innerhalb soziomaterieller Figurationen. Anhand der Analyse von Illustrationsbeispielen zeigen wir verschiedene, ambivalente Konsequenzen digitaler Bewertungspraktiken im Bildungsbereich auf. Im Ergebnis ermöglichen sie neue Formen der Partizipation und erfordern dafür eine ausdifferenzierte Datenkompetenz. Sie führen zu einer Ausdehnung von Kommunikation zwischen Akteurinnen und Akteuren und verdecken dabei zugleich menschliche Handlungsfähigkeit. Sie lassen neue Formen der Überwachung und Kontrolle zu, aber auch grössere Transparenz und Rechenschaftslegung.
Machine learning has become a key component of contemporary information systems. Unlike prior information systems explicitly programmed in formal languages, ML systems infer rules from data. This paper shows what this difference means for the critical analysis of socio-technical systems based on machine learning. To provide a foundation for future critical analysis of machine learning-based systems, we engage with how the term is framed and constructed in self-education resources. For this, we analyze machine learning tutorials, an important information source for self-learners and a key tool for the formation of the practices of the machine learning community. Our analysis identifies canonical examples of machine learning as well as important misconceptions and problematic framings. Our results show that machine learning is presented as being universally applicable and that the application of machine learning without special expertise is actively encouraged. Explanations of machine learning algorithms are missing or strongly limited. Meanwhile, the importance of data is vastly understated. This has implications for the manifestation of (new) social inequalities through machine learning-based systems.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Until the end of the last century, media sociology was synonymous with the investigation of mass media as a social domain. Today, media sociology needs to address a much higher level of complexity, that is, a deeply mediatized world in which all human practices, social relations, and social order are entangled with digital media and their infrastructures. This article discusses this shift from a sociology of mass communication to the sociology of a deeply mediatized world. The principal aim of the article is to outline a new media-sociological imagination: media sociology as a cross-sectional sociology, a sociology of entanglement, and a new critical sociology of technological deep structures.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
One of the most challenging questions regarding the transformation of space refers to media and communications: How do digital media change space and our experience of space? This question is often discussed in isolation, losing sight of its overarching context. This chapter develops a theory of the refiguration of society by digital media and their infrastructures and provides an understanding of how profound today’s media-related changes are for the individual as well as institutions, organizations, and communities. First, the chapter briefly highlights how we should not regard deep mediatization as a process that is homogeneous within a society, or even across societies, but as something that is domain specific. On the basis of these reflections, the chapter develops a figurational approach to media and communications in order to explain how we can imagine a refiguration of society as part of deep mediatization. To conclude, the chapter refers to the consequences of this for an analysis of media and space. In sum, the main argument is that the media-related transformations of space must be placed in the broader context of deep mediatization’s contribution to societal transformation.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Using ethnographic methods to investigate the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic affected two Makerspaces, we discuss the limits of the of Maker movement’s ideological foundations. Both spaces moved their activities online but differ in their engagement with Corona-specific projects: While the eLab Berlin decided to avoid any involvement due to legal and practical issues, the South London Makerspace produced face shields using 3D printing and laser cutting processes. Across these differences in engagement, our main argument is that the pandemic caused, in both cases, a shock of the real, for the Maker ideology: Individually, the spaces’ members were shocked at what the pandemic meant for the limits of their practice. From a more macro perspective, there was a shock of the real for the entire movement as a whole as the pandemic revealed the limits of its claims; the idea that the Maker movement can develop fast creative ideas and physical prototypes, which can then be scaled-up in production and, therefore, restructure manufacturing processes on a societal level.
Andreas Hepp
added 5 research items
Ziel dieses Artikels ist es, die Diskussion um Forschungssoftware in der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft methodisch zu kontextualisieren. Das Kernargument dabei ist, dass wir uns „jenseits“ des Computational Turns der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft befinden, sowohl im Hinblick auf ihren Gegenstand (die meisten Medien sind zu digitalen Medien geworden) als auch im Hinblick auf Theorien (die zunehmend das Digitale fokussieren) und Methoden (die ebenfalls verstärkt digital und computerbasiert sind). Man kann sich mit den Herausforderungen und Chancen des Einsatzes von Forschungssoftware nur dann angemessen auseinandersetzen, wenn man ihre Etablierung als Teil dieser generellen Veränderung der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft begreift. Um dies zu verdeutlichen, wird ausgehend von der Reflexion des Wandels der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft zunächst der Stellenwert digital basierter Methoden diskutiert. Im Mittelpunkt steht dabei die Entwicklung von virtuellen Methoden, digitalen Methoden und computerbasierten Methoden hin zu Mehrmethodendesigns digitaler Kommunikationsforschung. Auf dieser Grundlage wird dann die Rolle von eigenentwickelter Forschungssoftware diskutiert und diese in Bezug gesetzt zu Softwareanwendungen für die Forschung, Infrastruktursoftware und -diensten sowie Standardsoftware und -anwendungen, die für Forschungszwecke „umgenutzt“ werden. Hierüber zeigen sich Chancen und Herausforderungen von Forschungssoftware im Hinblick auf Softwarekompetenz, Interdisziplinarität und Nachhaltigkeit. Diese Rahmung dient dazu, die verschiedenen Aufsätze dieses Themenhefts einzuordnen, um damit das neue Thema „Forschungssoftware“ einer möglichst breiten Leserschaft zugänglich zu machen.
Es ist gerade einmal dreißig Jahre her, dass der britische Informatiker Timothy Berners-Lee und sein belgischer Kollege Robert Cailliau die technischen Grundlagen des World Wide Web entwickelten. Die von ihnen eingeläutete Digitale Revolution hat unsere Gesellschaften seither ebenso radikal wie nachhaltig verändert – und ein Ende ist nicht abzusehen. Der unablässige Zuwachs der Rechen-, Speicher- und Kommunikationskapazitäten sowie die unüberschaubare Vielzahl immer neuer technischer Geräte, Anwendungen und Programme verschieben permanent die Grenzen des Üblichen und des Möglichen. Die mit der Digitalisierung einhergehenden Transformationsprozesse wirken sich aber auch auf unser soziales Zusammenleben aus. Sie betreffen alle Bereiche des Öffentlichen und des Privaten und bringen laufend neue Praktiken hervor. Diese sind jedoch nicht nur von unseren Intentionen als Nutzer*innen geprägt, sondern auch von den Vorgaben der Programmierer*innen, Entwickler*innen oder Produzent*innen, die mittels Algorithmen, Datenbanken oder Schlagworten mehr oder weniger unbemerkt unser Verhalten steuern. Was aber bedeutet es, wenn uns immer mehr Parameter unseres eigenen Denkens, Handelns und Urteilens gar nicht mehr transparent sind? Und welche Möglichkeiten haben wir, uns den Mechanismen der digitalen Hörigkeit zu entziehen?
This article presents the results of a comparative discourse analysis of coverage of the Maker and Quantified Self movements in the German and British (online) press over the period 2007 to 2019. The analysis is based on three research questions: To what extent are these two pioneer communities the subject of public discourse? Which patterns structure the discourse on these pioneer communities? And what can be concluded in regard to the significance of this coverage for the processes of deep mediatization? In essence, the article shows that-across both countries under investigation-the discourse around the Maker movement tends to be utopian, while the discourse around the Quantified Self movement tends to be dystopian. What both have in common, however, is that technology is assumed to have a high potential for social change, which corresponds to the "Californian ideology" of the San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley. A horizon of imagination is constructed that implies * Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp, Universität Bremen, Zentrum für Medien-, Kommunikations-& In-formationsforschung, Linzer Straße 4, 28359 Bremen, Deutschland, ahepp@uni-bremen.de, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7292-4147. Susan Benz, M. A, Universität Bremen, Zentrum für Medien-, Kommunikations-& Informati-onsforschung, Linzer Straße 4, 28359 Bremen, Deutschland, s.benz@uni-bremen.de, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1359-8772; Piet Simon, Deutschland, pisimon@gmx.de. Open Access-http://www.nomos-elibrary.de/agb that society can be unilaterally transformed by technology-a horizon in which people then position themselves in everyday life when appropriating digital media and communication technologies.
Juliane Jarke
added a research item
New methods and technologies for engaging future users and other stakeholders in participatory (design) processes are being developed and proposed in computing. Researchers increasingly refer to co-creation in order to capture these approaches. However, how co-creation is being framed and understood across domains differs substantially. To better understand co-creation in computing, we conducted a literature review of all papers in the ACM Digital Library with co-creation or co-create in their abstracts. After an initial screening, we retained 62 for further analysis. We introduce a framework to analyse different notions of co-creation, distinguishing between co-creation target audiences, the roles of co-creators, the role of technology (as means or objective) and the results of co-creation. We discuss the adoption of co-creation in domains such as learning, business, arts and culture, health, and the public sector. This paper contributes to the understanding of different approaches and conceptualisations of co-creation in computing and puts forward an agenda for future research.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Wir sind auf dem Weg zur digitalen Gesellschaft, aber wir sind noch lange nicht angekommen. Andreas Hepp beleuchtet in seinem Buch die tiefgreifende Mediatisierung der Gesellschaft. Er fokussiert den Umgang mit digitalen Medien, ihre Infrastrukturen und die automatisierte Verarbeitung der Daten, die wir alle online hinterlassen. Hepp diskutiert die Rolle der Industrie, des Staates und der Pioniergemeinschaften dabei und fragt danach, warum digitale Medien als Plattformen und kommunikative Roboter immer „prozesshafter“ werden. Was bedeuten diese Veränderungen für Organisationen, Gemeinschaften und Individuen? Und wie sollten wir einen solchen Wandel gestalten, um zu der digitalen Gesellschaft zu gelangen, die wir uns auch wünschen? Andreas Hepp legt mit diesem Buch eine umfassende, auf empirischer Forschung basierende Analyse des mit Medien und deren Digitalisierung zusammenhängenden Gesellschaftswandels vor. Dabei bleibt er aber nicht bei einer solchen Analyse stehen, sondern wirft auch die normative Frage auf, wie digitale Medien und Infrastrukturen einem „guten Leben“ dienen können.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Wir leben in Zeiten tiefgreifender Mediatisierung. Damit ist gemeint, dass unsere heutigen Gesellschaften mit digitalen Medien und Infrastrukturen so durchdrungen sind, dass diese konstitutiv geworden sind für die soziale Welt. Indem digitale Medien auf Software basieren, sind sie nicht nur Mittel der Kommunikation, sondern auch der fortlaufenden Datengenerierung und -auswertung geworden. Ausgehend von diesen Überlegungen wird in diesem Beitrag das Phänomen der kommunikativen Roboter als einem an Relevanz gewinnenden Gegenstand der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft näher betrachtet. In einem ersten Schritt werden Artificial Companions, Social Bots und Work Bots als Beispiele kommunikativer Roboter beleuchtet, um so zu einer Grundlage der Beschreibung des Phänomens zu gelangen. Dies dient in einem zweiten Schritt dazu zu fassen, was die Herausforderungen einer kommunikations- und medienwissenschaftlichen Beschäftigung mit kommunikativen Robotern sind. Ausgehend hiervon wird dann deutlich gemacht, dass kommunikative Roboter an der Schnittstelle von automatisierter Kommunikation und kommunikativer Automatisierung zu sehen sind.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Ziel dieses Artikels ist es, die Diskussion um Forschungssoftware in der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft methodisch zu kontextualisieren. Das Kernargument dabei ist, dass wir uns „jenseits“ des Computational Turns der Kommunikations- und Medienwis- senschaft befinden, sowohl im Hinblick auf ihren Gegenstand (die meisten Medien sind zu digitalen Medien geworden) als auch im Hinblick auf Theorien (die zunehmend das Digitale fokussieren) und Methoden (die ebenfalls verstärkt digital und computerbasiert sind). Man kann sich mit den Herausforderungen und Chancen des Einsatzes von For- schungssoftware nur dann angemessen auseinandersetzen, wenn man ihre Etablierung als Teil dieser generellen Veränderung der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft begreift. Um dies zu verdeutlichen, wird ausgehend von der Reflexion des Wandels der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft zunächst der Stellenwert digital basierter Methoden diskutiert. Im Mittelpunkt steht dabei die Entwicklung von virtuellen Me- thoden, digitalen Methoden und computerbasierten Methoden hin zu Mehrmethoden- designs digitaler Kommunikationsforschung. Auf dieser Grundlage wird dann die Rolle von eigenentwickelter Forschungssoftware diskutiert und diese in Bezug gesetzt zu Soft- wareanwendungen für die Forschung, Infrastruktursoftware und ‐diensten sowie Stan- dardsoftware und ‐anwendungen, die für Forschungszwecke „umgenutzt“ werden. Hier- über zeigen sich Chancen und Herausforderungen von Forschungssoftware im Hinblick auf Softwarekompetenz, Interdisziplinarität und Nachhaltigkeit. Diese Rahmung dient dazu, die verschiedenen Aufsätze dieses Themenhefts einzuordnen, um damit das neue Thema „Forschungssoftware“ einer möglichst breiten Leserschaft zugänglich zu machen.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
German media sociology is in the process of developing from a sociology of mass communication to a sociology of a deeply mediatized world. This corresponds with three more general themes of international media sociology: a rethinking of agency, a redefinition of social relations, and a rediscovery of order in light of the digital. The specificity of current German media sociology’s work tomake sense of the digital can perhaps be captured most concisely by stating that it is dominated by a relational, process-oriented way of thinking that broadly seeks to describe and critically evaluate the transformation of social construction by digital media and their infrastructures.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Der Journalismus ist ebenso wie die Journalismusforschung mit den Trends einer tiefgreifenden Mediatisierung konfrontiert: die fortschreitende Differenzierung, Konnektivität und Omnipräsenz digitaler Medien sowie die Beschleunigung der Innovationszyklen bei der Technologieentwicklung und die mit digitalen Medien verbundene Datafizierung aller Lebensbereiche. Im Zuge dieser Entwicklungen hat die Journalismus- forschung in den letzten Jahrzehnten zunehmend ihr Sichtfeld erweitert, sich etwa im Hinblick auf die sie interessierenden Akteur:innen, Praktiken und Organisationstypen neu justiert und sich theoretisch sowie forschungspraktisch gegenüber anderen Disziplinen und Methoden geöffnet bzw. ist von diesen „entdeckt“ worden. Vor diesem Hintergrund und ausgehend von Beispielen aus unserer gemeinsamen Forschung argumentieren wir, dass eine Neujustierung der Journalismusforschung mit einer holistischen Perspektive verbunden sein sollte: in der Feldbeobachtung, der Forschungspraxis und bei der Theorieentwicklung.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
This article presents the results of a discourse analysis of press coverage on the Quantified Self (QS) movement in the German and British (online) press between 2007 and 2018. The analysis is driven by two questions: What discursive patterns can be discerned within this coverage? And, what characterizes the translation of the experimental practices and imaginaries of this pioneer community into an overall societal reflection of deep mediatization? In essence, the article shows that the QS movement becomes a ‘general signifier’ for a dystopian view of deep mediatization. So, while the QS movement itself understands its practices and community as self-empowering, self-reasoning, and experimental, the constructions of the QS movement in public discourse suggest the opposite. Paradoxically, however, another basic imaginary of the pioneer community is adopted and confirmed, namely that of the (simple) mutability of society as a consequence of digital media technologies.
Lisa Merten
added a research item
In this article, I introduce contextualized repertoire maps as a qualitative approach to the study of news-related media use. With their origins in the sociological analysis of personal networks, egocentric network maps are adapted here to visualize patterns of media use and then contextualized with qualitative interviews and data collected during participant observation. This integrative approach is illustrated by a study of the routines and practices of news consumption within and around social media platforms. I demonstrate how the mapping exercise can complement other qualitative methods to explore the structure, meaning and processes of cross-media user practices and discuss the scope and limits for visualizing and analyzing the interrelatedness between social media platforms and traditional mass media.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
The aim of this article is to reconstruct the ways in which the organizational elites of the Quantified Self and Maker movements curate their respective pioneer communities. Based on a media ethnography carried out in Germany, the UK, and the USA it is demonstrated that the two movements adopt different curatorial models: curation through the use of an ‘unenforced trademark’ in the case of the Quantified Self movement and curation through ‘franchising’ in the case of the Maker movement. The fragility of both models is not necessarily a disadvantage to either and it has contributed to the rapid global spread of both communities. An analysis of these curatorial practices demonstrates that while these communities like to present themselves as having emerged from local groupings, rising ‘from below’, they are, in fact, figurations whose origin and overall exertion of influence can be traced back to Silicon Valley and the Whole Earth Network.
Andreas Hepp
added 4 research items
Academic research typically portrays the Maker Movement as a bottom-up emancipatory movement that emerged out of localised, grassroots initiatives. On the basis of a broad media ethnography that gathered data in Germany, Great Britain, and the USA, this article demonstrates the myopia of this assessment. Rather than being a bottom-up movement, the Maker Movement is in fact a pioneer community with intimate connections to the corporate world and the political class maintained by a globally spread organisational elite. The increasingly global sweep of the Maker Movement is a complex act of co-construction involving an abundance of different actors. With its curatorial centre firmly embedded within the offices of the Maker Media company-guiding the discourse on the movement's identity through its periodical Make: and its experiential experiences through international Maker Faires-the Maker Movement has its organisational basis in a franchise model that leaves it open to the flexible influence of an organisational elite who secures the intellectual and physical space for individual practitioners and local groups.
Vielerorts ist die lokale Öffentlichkeit in eine (wenn auch ambivalente) Krise geraten: Ihre integrative Funktion schwindet angesichts des Relevanzverlusts klassischer Lokalmedien, individualisierter Mediennutzung und städtischer Segmentierungsprozesse. Digitale Medien werden in diesem Kontext häufig als Teil des Problems benannt; ihre Potenziale für eine (Re-)Vitalisierung lokaler Öffentlichkeit hingegen werden selten betrachtet. Wir explorieren sie in unserer experimentellen Aktionsforschung in einer deutschen Großstadt und zwei Anrainergemeinden, bei der die kommunikative Integration von Bürgern*innen nicht nur Ziel, sondern gleichzeitig Forschungsansatz ist: In Tiefeninterviews, Gruppendiskussionen und einer repräsentativen Befragung erheben wir die Defizite der aktuellen und Vorstellungen einer ‚idealen‘ Stadtöffentlichkeit aus Sicht unterschiedlicher Bezugsgruppen sowie ihre Wünsche an eine Plattform, die die Idealvorstellung befördern hilft. In Co-Creation-Workshops werden die Erkenntnisse von Softwareentwickler*innen gemeinsam mit Vertreter*innen der Bezugsgruppen spezifiziert und zu einer lokalen Nachrichten-Plattform umgesetzt. Wir präsentieren die Plattform sowie eine theoriegeleitete Beurteilung ihres öffentlichkeitsfördernden Potenzials. "Mit Co-Creation zur integrativen Stadtöffentlichkeit? Zum Potential partizipativer Aktionsforschung für die digitale Revitalisierung lokaler öffentlicher Kommunikation.", Vortrag von Julius Reimer, Andrea Grahl, Andreas Breiter, Ulrike Gerhard, Katharina Heitmann, Andreas Hepp, Hendrik Hoch, Leif Kramp, Wiebke Loosen und Adrian Roeske im Rahmen der 64. Jahrestagung "Integration durch Kommunikation in digitalisierten Öffentlichkeiten" der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK) am 10. Mai 2019 in Münster.
The purpose of MeTag Analyze and the accompanying MeTag smartphone app is to provide researchers with a tool to collect and analyse media diaries. The data collection takes place via the above mentioned MeTag app on the participants’ smartphones. The data analysis is done via a web-based back-end app called MeTag Analyze which at the same time functions to start and end data collection projects. This manuel refers to version 1.0.3 of the MeTag app and version 1.0 of MeTag Analyze and is work in progress, which means that it will becontinuously updated as MeTag is developed.
Andreas Hepp
added 3 research items
In this article we present a research project that experimentally develops a local news platform based on empirical research (interviews, group discussions, a survey) and a co-creation approach. What is presented here is not a typical empirical social science research study but the culmination of an entire approach that is oriented toward software development. This article's aim is to present the project's conceptual ideas, its interdisciplinary character, its research-based development approach and the concept for a local news platform that grew out of our preliminary work. At each level we focus on the relationality which arises in the figurations of the actors involved and their various perspectives. First, we illustrate how relationality already shaped the objective of our project and how this results in its interdisciplinary structure and research design. We then discuss this idea with reference to our empirical findings, that is, the paradox of the local public sphere: While all the actors we interviewed-those who (professionally) produce content and those who use it-have a high appreciation for the idea of a local public sphere, the mediated connection to this sphere is diminishing at the same time. We understand this as the real challenge for local journalism and the local public sphere at large, and not just for individual media organizations. This is also the reason why we argue for a fundamentally relational approach: from a theoretical point of view, it can be used to grasp the crisis of the local public; from a practical point of view, relationality represents the core characteristic of the platform in development. On this basis, we will then show how the concept of the experimental local news platform evolved through the use of a prototype as a relational boundary object. This development lead to the con-ceptualization of the platform molo.news which itself is characterized by a fourfold relationality. Our concluding argument is that approaching relationality in a more rigorous way could be the key to exploring the future of local journalism.
"Co-Creating a New Local Public Sphere: On the Potential of Action Research for Re-Vitalizing Public Communication in a City’s Centre and Its Peripheries", presentation at the European Communication Research and Education Association's (ECREA) "7th European Communication Conference" (ECC) on November 3rd, 2018 in Lugano, Switzerland (together with Andreas Breiter, Katharina Heitmann, Andreas Hepp and Wiebke Loosen).
Recent journalism research often argues that it is high time that we moved beyond the newsroom and begin asking who it is that is stimulating transformation and not what it is, as individual journalists, entrepreneurs, technology firms, and startups assume an increasingly critical role in the development of the field. This article introduces the concept of ‘pioneer journalism’ to provide just such an analysis across different organizational contexts. Pioneer journalism is understood as a particular group of journalists that incorporates new organizational forms and experimental practice in pursuit of redefining the field and its structural foundations. To introduce this concept, the article argues along three stages. First, it develops a theoretical basis on which to pin our understanding of pioneering practice by reviewing previous research into journalism’s transformation beyond the newsroom. Second, it extends the theoretical discussion into the empirical realm by looking at five extreme cases of pioneer journalists through an explorative interview analysis. Third, and to conclude, an integrated concept of pioneer journalism is outlined as a point of departure from which to further consider journalism’s re-figuration more generally.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Andreas Hepp takes an integrative look at one of the biggest questions in media and communications research: how digital media is changing society. Often, such questions are discussed in isolation, losing sight of the overarching context in which they are situated. Hepp has developed a theory of the re-figuration of society by digital media and their infrastructures, and provides an understanding of how profound today’s media-related changes are, not only for institutions, organizations and communities, but for the individual as well. Rooted in the latest research, this book does not stop at a description of media-related change; instead, it raises the normative challenge of what deep mediatization should look like so that it might just stimulate a 'good life' for all. Providing original and critical research, the book introduces deep mediatization to students of media and cultural studies, as well as neighboring disciplines like sociology, political science and other cognate disciplines.Andreas Hepp takes an integrative look at one of the biggest questions in media and communications research: how digital media is changing society.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Ziel des Kapitels ist es zu diskutieren, wie sich online hinterlassene digitale Spuren in ihrer Komplexität auf eine Weise kontextualisieren lassen, dass man sie in ihrem sozialen Bedeutungsgehalt analysieren kann. Hierzu werden nach einer allgemeinen Diskussion der dabei bestehenden Herausforderungen am Beispiel von Schulinformationssystemen mögliche Strategien der sozialen Kontextualisierung von automatisch generierten Daten herausgearbeitet. Kernargument ist, dass für eine solche Kontextualisierung qualitative Daten notwendig sind und damit eine Triangulation von Analysen großer Datenmengen mit qualitativen Verfahren. Ausgehend von solchen Analysen werden im Fazit des Beitrags hieraus Linien zukünftiger methodischer Entwicklungen im Bereich der Forschung zu digitaler Datenspuren aufgezeigt.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
In diesem Working Paper wird für die Jahre 2007 bis 2017 vergleichend für Deutschland und Großbritannien der öffentliche Diskurs um Quantified Self und Maker Bewegung jenseits von Fachmagazinen und thematisch einschlägigen Webseiten bzw. Blogs untersucht. Hierbei haben wir eine dreifache Fragestellung: In welchem Umfang sind diese beiden Pioniergemeinschaften Gegenstand eines öffentlichen Diskurses? Welchen Stellenwert haben einzelne Technologien in der Berichterstattung über sie? Und welche Diskursmuster werden in der Berichterstattung über die Pioniergemein- schaften greifbar? Zur Bearbeitung dieser dreifachen Fragestellung haben wir eine Diskursanalyse der wichtigsten allgemeinen Zeitungen (einschließlich ihrer Online- Ausgaben) in beiden Ländern durchgeführt. Die Annahme dabei ist, dass die Berichterstattung in diesen Zeitungen ein guter Indikator für einen breiteren öffentlichen Diskurs ist. Im Kern können wir zeigen, dass — über beide Untersuchungsländer hinweg — der Diskurs um die Maker-Bewegung in der Tendenz utopisch orientiert ist, während der Diskurs um die Quantified-Self-Bewegung eher dystopisch orientiert ist. Gemeinsam ist beiden, dass Technologie ein hohes Potenzial für gesellschaftliche Veränderung unterstellt wird.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Das Buch » Personal Influence « ist eine der meist zitierten und einflussreichsten Veröffentlichungen der amerikanischen Massenkommunikationsforschung aus der Nachkriegszeit. Es steht in der Folge der von Paul Lazarsfeld et al. (1944) realisierten Studien zum Einfluss der Medienberichterstattung auf die Präsidentschaftswahlen von 1940 (zum weiteren Kontext siehe auch Lazarsfeld und Merton → 1964). Im engeren Sinne hat die Publikation ihren Ursprung in einer 1944/45 durchgeführten, von einer Zeitschrift finanzierten Auftragsforschung zur Medienbeeinflussung des Entscheidungsverhaltens von Frauen in Decatur, Illinois.
Leif Kramp
added an update
New working paper on "Digital Movements" by Sandra Jeppesen (Lakehead University Orillia, Canada) has been published in the "Communicative Figurations" working paper series.
The article is entitled "Digital Movements: Challenging Contradictions in Intersectional Media and Social Movements".
Further Communicative Figurations Working Papers can be accessed here:
 
Andreas Hepp
added an update
We started a project to develop our MeTag and MeSort research applications as part of the Commfigurations network. For more information, please visit this page: https://www.researchgate.net/project/SOFTWARE-FOR-CROSS-MEDIA-PRACTICES-AND-DIGITAL-TRACES-RESEARCH-The-development-of-a-media-diary-and-a-sorting-app
 
Andreas Breiter
added 2 research items
The chapter focuses on a cross-national comparison of mediatized schools in Germany and England. Based on the assumption that both school systems follow the same goal of providing good school education, the question arises as to why the mediatized equipment is so different. Our empirical results show that English schools are far more mediatized, exhibiting a higher number of computers, notebooks and tablets in schools as well as digital systems and services. Non-mediatized communication forms dominate in German schools with a high usage of pen and paper or pigeon holes. The different mediatized practices also affect communication with pupils and parents, following the same characteristics as inter-teacher communication. On the other hand, teachers in both countries emphasize the importance of face-to-face contact and direct personal communication. One reason for the differences may be founded in the different educational governance of both countries.
Dieser Beitrag befasst sich mit der Rückmeldung von Ergebnissen aus Vergleichsarbeiten und geht der Frage nach, welche Rolle die Datenkompetenz von Lehrkräften und die grafische Gestaltung von Benutzerschnittstellen interaktiver Rückmeldesysteme bezüglich der Verständlichkeit von Rückmeldungen und der Akzeptanz von Lehrkräften gegenüber Vergleichsarbeiten spielen könnten. Aufgrund der hohen Komplexität der an Vergleichsarbeiten beteiligten Akteure und ihres kommunikativen Handelns, wird das Konzept der kommunikativen Figurationen von Hepp und Hasebrink (2014) herangezogen.
Andreas Hepp
added 3 research items
Kernüberlegung des Artikels ist es, dass sowohl Mediatisierungsforschung als auch kommunikativer Konstruktivismus damit konfrontiert sind, sich so weiterzuentwickeln, dass sie in ihrer empirischen Forschung der sich aktuell grundlegend verändernden Medienumgebung gerecht werden. Um dieses Argument zu entwickeln, werden zuerst einige allgemeinere Anmerkungen zum Konstruktivismus in der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft gemacht. Diese ermöglichen es, die konstruktivistischen Grundlagen der Mediatisierungsforschung zu reflektieren und so die aktuelle Diskussion um kommunikativen Kon struktivismus besser in diese einzuordnen. Auf einer solchen doppelten Basis geht es dann darum, die aktuelle tiefgreifende Mediatisierung näher zu beleuchten. In ihr werden Medien mehr und mehr (auch) zu Software, weswegen wir mit einer gänzlich anderen Form der Mediatisierung konfrontiert sind als die durch die sogenannten Massenmedien. Dies führt mich dann zu den Herausforderungen, vor denen sowohl die Mediatisierungsforschung als auch der kommunikative Kon struktivismus stehen. Entsprechend geht es mir weniger darum, wer wem wie nützlich ist, sondern wie beide diesen Herausforderungen gerecht werden können – als „konstruktivistische Kritik“ aktueller medienbezogener Entwicklungen.
Das Kapitel befasst sich mit der urbanen Vergemeinschaftung junger Menschen in Bremen und Leipzig. Anhand qualitativer empirischer Daten wird gezeigt, inwieweit – neben der Familie, Bekannten und Kollegen – für junge Menschen der Freundeskreis der primäre Figuration des Erlebens von Vergemeinschaftung in der Stadt ist. Dieser ist gleichwohl in erheblichem Maße ein mediatisiertes Phänomen geworden. Ausgehend von dieser Analyse befasst sich der Beitrag mit der figurativen Qualität einzelner Vergemeinschaftungsorte in der Stadt. Es geht darum, dass einzelne Lokalitäten in der Stadt in ihrer Mediatisierung für junge Menschen eine bestimmte Qualität der Vergemeinschaftung haben, sich hierbei aber ortsbezogene Prozesse der Segregation ausmachen lassen. Dies führt uns zu der Frage, inwieweit für junge Menschen die Stadt so etwas wie eine vorgestellte Gemeinschaft sein kann. Durch eine Betrachtung dieser verschiedenen Ebenen wird ein figurationsanalytischer Ansatz der Erforschung von Vergemeinschaftung in der mediatisierten Stadt entwickelt.
Während das Phänomen der mediatisierten Stadt aus einer Alltagsperspektive augenfällig ist, findet die wissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung damit im deutschsprachigen Raum sehr separiert statt: Die Geschichtswissenschaft nähert sich der historischen Dimension des Phänomens an. Die Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft befasst sich mit Einzelfragen wie Stadtöffentlichkeit und ortsbezogenen Medien. In der Politikwissenschaft findet eine verstärkte Diskussion um die heutigen „smart cities“ und ihre tiefgreifende Mediatisierung durch digitale, Daten generierende Medien. Und die Stadtsoziologie hat die Rolle von Medien beispielsweise für urbane Bewegungen entdeckt. Einen stärker integrierten Diskurs um das Phänomen der mediatisierten Stadt findet man allerdings kaum. In diesem einleitenden Kapitel werden Grundlagen für eine solche integrative Annäherung an das Phänomen der mediatisierten Stadt umrissen und ein Überblick über die Beiträge des Bandes gegeben.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
Digitale Medien spielen für die Verfasstheit von Gesellschaften eine zentrale Rolle. Die Forschung spricht von einer (tiefgreifenden) Mediatisierung der Gesellschaft. Gemeint ist damit die zunehmende Durchdringung von Gesellschaften mit digitalen Medien und den ihnen zugrundeliegenden Infrastrukturen, womit ein „entanglement“ von sozialen Konstruktionsprozessen mit Medientechnologien einhergeht. Einen neuen Schub hat diese Forschung mit der Datafizierung erfahren: der Repräsentation und gleichzeitigen Beeinflussung sozialer Praxis in und durch computerisierte Daten. Spätestens seit Manuel Castells (1996) Entwurf der „Netzwerkgesellschaft“ ist es ein verbreitetes Argument, dass mit einem solchen Wandel die Begriffe und Konzepte der „klassischen“ Sozial- und Gesellschaftstheorie an ihre Grenzen stoßen. Im Kern laufen solche Kritiken darauf hinaus, dass die klassischen Sozial- und Gesellschaftstheorien Medien und deren Potenzial, Kommunikationsprozesse zu verändern, nicht angemessen berücksichtigen. Folgt man diesem Argument, besteht im Hinblick auf die aktuelle tiefgreifende Mediatisierung die Notwendigkeit, den sozialwissenschaftlichen Begriffsapparat zu über- und weiterzudenken. Das Ziel des Buches „Die kommunikative Konstruktion der Wirklichkeit“ von Hubert Knoblauch ist es, dies aus der Tradition der Sozialphänomenologie heraus zu leisten. Kein Zufall ist deshalb die Anspielung seines Buchtitels auf „Die gesellschaftliche Konstruktion der Wirklichkeit“ von Peter L. Berger und Thomas Luckmann (Berger/Luckmann, 1966): Fünfzig Jahre nach Erscheinen dieses Klassikers geht es Hubert Knoblauch um eine Erweiterung des phänomenologischen Begriffsapparates von Berger und Luckmann, die den Stellenwert von (digitalen) Medien und Kommunikation in heutigen Gesellschaften reflektiert. Die Ver- schiebung des Buchtitels von „gesellschaftlicher“ zu „kommunikativer Konstruktion“ ist also Programm: das Programm des „kommunikativen Konstruktivismus“.
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
In this paper, we want to discuss the role pioneer journalists and the pioneer communities that they are part of may play in journalism’s trajectory going forward. Journalism serves as an ideal case study for such an undertaking. This is because the transformation of journalism is entangled with the development of media technologies and is increasingly maintained beyond the newsroom by actors outside established media organisations, who are situated more at the periphery of the journalistic field not yet being part of the main- stream. For a couple of examples, one can look at the ‘Hacks/Hackers movement’ who are engaged in data- and technology-driven journalism (Lewis and Usher, 2014), or the ‘Constructive Journalism Project’ (www.constructivejournalism.org), which are both developing new forms of media coverage that integrates solution-focused elements (Haagerup, 2014). The starting point of our paper is that such forms of pioneering are a more general phenomenon in journalism. What pioneers or pioneer communities imagine is not a collec- tion of straightforward ‘models’ that can be readily applied to current mainstream jour- nalism, but something that is likely to have a remarkable impact on discourse surrounding its future – something that signals developments and practices of pioneers and innovators at the periphery that push towards the centre.
Juliane Jarke
added an update
Heute ist mein Themenessay zu „Digitalisierung und Gesellschaft“ in der Soziologischen Revue erschienen. Im Themenessay gehe ich auf die grundlegenden Herausforderungen der Erforschung dieses Phänomens ein - einer Soziologie des Digitalen. Hierzu habe ich vier neuere Publikationen  in diesem Themenfeld besprochen, Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede in der wissenschaftlichen Debatte herausgearbeitet.
Inhaltlich argumentiere ich, dass die zunehmende Digitalisierung in dreifacher Hinsicht relevant und interessant ist: (1) als Forschungsobjekt – die digitale Gesellschaft, (2) durch die Entwicklung neuer Forschungsmethoden – digitale Methoden und (3) durch neue Plattformen für die Kommunikation von sozialwissenschaftlichen Forschungsergebnissen (siehe auch Marres, 2017).
 
Andreas Hepp
added a research item
In Zeiten tiefgreifender Mediatisierung gewinnen Ansätze medienübergreifender Forschung zur Mediennutzung und -aneignung an Bedeutung. Dabei ist es notwendig, "medienübergreifend" zumindest in zweifacher Perspektive im Blick zu haben. Die erste Perspektive betrifft das "Individuum", dessen medienübergreifende Praktiken im Hinblick auf ein bestimmtes "Medienrepertoire" beschrieben werden können. Die zweite Perspektive bezieht sich auf bestimmte "soziale Domänen" (Kollektivitäten und Organisationen), die sich als kommunikative Figurationen beschreiben lassen und für die ein bestimmtes "Medienensemble" kennzeichnend ist. Will man medienbezogenen Wandel - gerade auch aus Sicht einer qualitativen Medienforschung - beschreiben und verstehen, erscheint es uns notwendig, beide Perspektiven miteinander zu verbinden. Hierdurch wird es möglich, auf konzeptioneller wie auch empirischer Ebene die Wechselbeziehungen von individueller Mediennutzung auf der einen Seite und der Rolle von Medien in den Figurationen einzelner sozialer Domänen auf der anderen Seite zu erfassen.
Andreas Hepp
added an update
Wherever we are, whatever we do, living in a media saturated social world we leave ‘footprints’ of our media use that constitute an archive of ‘digital traces.’ But how can we analyze adequately these digital traces? How can we contextualize them—theoretically and methodologically as well as empirically? The Communicative Figurations network publishes an International Journal of Communication Special Section on Digital Traces in Context, in which international experts in digital media, datafication and digital methods explore the challenges involved when putting digital traces into context.
 
Andreas Hepp
added 2 research items
A consequence of living in a media-saturated world is that we inevitably leave behind digital traces of our media use. In this introduction to the International Journal of Communication's thematic section, we argue for a need to put those digital traces in context. As a starting point, we outline our basic understanding of digital traces, generally defining them as numerically produced correlations of disparate kinds of data that are generated by our practices in a media environment characterized by digitalization. On this basis, we distinguish three contextual facets that are of relevance when considering digital traces: first, the context of the scientific discourse in which research on digital traces is positioned; second, the context of the methods being applied to researching them; and third, the aforementioned context of the empirical field. With reference to the articles in this thematic section, this introduction argues that, in a single study, all three contextual facets interact as the scientific discourse relates to the methods being used, which in turn relates to the entire field of research. Digital Traces as a Phenomenon Whatever we do, wherever we are, by living in a media-saturated social world we leave behind footprints of our media use that compile an archive of "digital traces." To some degree we do this consciously; when we upload photographs to or write comments on the timelines of digital platforms, we leave an enduring imprint of our presence there. On the other hand, however, we are often unaware of the process as an (unintended) side effect of our media-related practices. This can be the case, for example, when using a search engine, when reading newspapers online, or when posting on Facebook or Andreas Hepp: andreas.hepp@uni-bremen.de Andreas Breiter: abreiter@uni-bremen.de Thomas
On the basis of a media ethnography of self-trackers and their self-quantification, we argue in this article that the ways related media technologies and digital traces are appropriated depends on the overall contexts of these self-trackers. There are at least three kinds of contexts that matter: first, the context of further practices, of which self-tracking and self-quantification are a part; second, the context of social figurations the self-trackers are involved in or related to; and, third, the context of societal discourses about the self in present societies. These contexts come together in two fundamental types of self-tracker, whom we call "pragmatists" and "enthusiasts." These two types differ in the way they use digital traces for self-tracking and the meaning of self-tracking in their everyday lives. However, both types can be understood as an expression of a new form of constructing the self in times of deep mediatization. Self-tracking and self-quantification have become an everyday phenomenon. Only a few years ago, this set of practices was characteristic of a focused, dedicated group of people driven by the pioneering idea of the "quantified self." The popularity of self-tracking devices such as activity trackers, smart watches, and smartphones with respective apps made self-tracking a widespread phenomenon in the West. As the use of these devices becomes more common, some users are well aware of the digital traces they produce. Others are far less aware of the footprints that are left online when they use such media technologies. In those cases, digital traces arise in an unintended way that is a side effect of the use of the devices. In this article, we investigate this particular kind of usage of digital traces and its entanglement with further practices. We argue that the way the media technologies of self-tracking and the traces produced by them are appropriated depends on individuals' overall contexts. There are at least three kinds of context that matter: first, the context of further practices, of which self-tracking and self-quantification are a part; second, the context of the social figurations the self-trackers are involved in or related to
Christian Pentzold
added an update
Out now in Media, Culture & Society: A commentary on the ways, mediatization has informed the ways we process and arrange the pace, sequence, rhythms and seasons of social life.
 
Andreas Hepp
added 10 research items
What does it mean that we can be reached on our mobile phones wherever we are and at all times? What are the cultural consequences if we are informed about ‘everything and anything important’ via television? How are our political, religious and ethnic belongings impacted through being increasingly connected by digital media? And what is the significance of all this for our everyday lives? Drawing on Hepp’s fifteen-year research expertise on media change, this book deals with questions like these in a refreshingly straightforward and readable way. ‘Cultures of mediatization’ are described as cultures whose main resources are mediated by technical media. Therefore, everyday life in cultures of mediatization is ‘moulded’ by the media. To understand this challenging media change it is inappropriate to focus on any one single medium like television, the press, mobile phones, the Internet or other forms of digital media. One has to capture the ‘mediatization’ of culture in its entirety. Cultures of Mediatization outlines how this can be done critically. In so doing, it offers a new way of thinking about our present-day media-saturated world.
Why ‘‘mediatization’’ as a topic for communication theory now? This rather ungainly word has been rising in prominence for the past decade, but many readers of this journal may still want to ask: What does it mean? What does it add to communications theory? And is it necessary at all? The purpose of this introduction to the special issue—apart from introducing and summarizing the articles that follow—is to provide some context for the emergence of ‘‘mediatization’’ as a key theoretical concept for contemporary media and communications research, and to offer some reasons why it now deserves the full attention of scholars of communication theory.
When various media in their entirety mark how we articulate our social worlds, we need an approach of mediatization research that reflects this transmediality. To develop such an approach, the article first discusses the institutionalist' and social-constructivist' traditions of mediatization research. Both traditions concur in their understanding of mediatization as being a concept to capture the interrelation between the change of media and communication on the one hand, and the change of culture and society on the other hand. Taking this as a foundation it becomes possible to reflect on the role of certain media as moulding forces', i.e. as certain institutionalizations and reifications of communication. Such a conceptual reflection offers the chance to view the mediatization process as the change of transmedial communicative figurations by which we construct our mediatized worlds. Based on this theoretical foundation, the article subsequently reflects a twofold operationalization, i.e. as diachronous and synchronous mediatization research.
Christian Pentzold
added an update
OUT NOW: Our commentary on the future of (German) communication studies.
 
Uwe Hasebrink
added a research item
This open access volume is about how to research the influence of our changing media environment. Today, there is not one single medium that is the driving force of change. With the spreading of various technical communication media such as mobile phone and internet platforms, we are confronted with a media manifold of deep mediatization. But how can we investigate its transformative capability? This book answers this question by taking a non-media-centric perspective, researching the various figurations of collectivities and organizations humans are involved in. The first part of the book outlines a fundamental understanding of the changing media environment of deep mediatization and its transformative capacity. The second part focuses on collectivities and movements: communities in the city, critical social movements, maker, online gaming groups and networked groups of young people. The third part moves institutions and organizations into the foreground, discussing the transformation of journalism, religion, politics, and education, whilst the fourth and final part is dedicated to methodologies and perspectives.
Leif Kramp
added 3 research items
The chapter introduces a socio-geographical concept of metropolitan journalism , taking into account political, economic and cultural factors. It discusses empirical examples from journalism practice in Germany to identify certain patterns of structure-building, news production, news mediation and audience engagement. In so doing, it uses a figurational approach as a heuristic, depicting current transformations of journalism in metropolitan setting. The chapter argues for a differentiation between metropolitan journalism and local journalism. Due to the lack of an elaborated concept for metropolitan journalism in journalism theory, the following considerations draw on general characteristics of metropolitan areas that comprise geographical, administrative, political, economic and socio-demographic factors. On this basis, using the example of the situation of recent developments on Germany's news market, the chapter discusses how metropolitan journalism develop a capability to shape the overall orientation of journalism practice towards innovation and experimentation with new technologies, forms of expression, organisation models, and product development. It is thereby argued that metropolitan journalism functions as an interdisciplinary test field with signal effect for the news industry, and becomes in its broad variety and diversity a nucleus of a figurational transformation of journalism in general.
The chapter introduces a socio-geographical concept of metropolitan journalism, taking into account political, economic and cultural factors. It discusses empirical examples from journalism practice in Germany to identify certain patterns of structure-building, news production, news mediation and audience engagement. In so doing, it uses a figurational approach as a heuristic, depicting current transformations of journalism in metropolitan setting. The chapter argues for a differentiation between metropolitan journalism and local journalism. Due to the lack of an elaborated concept for metropolitan journalism in journalism theory, the following considerations draw on general characteristics of metropolitan areas that comprise geographical, administrative, political, economic and socio-demographic factors. On this basis, using the example of the situation of recent developments on Germanyâ s news market, the chapter discusses how metropolitan journalism develop a capability to shape the overall orientation of journalism practice towards innovation and experimentation with new technologies, forms of expression, organization models, and product development. It is thereby argued that metropolitan journalism functions as an interdisciplinary test field with signal effect for the news industry, and becomes in its broad variety and diversity a nucleus of a figurational transformation of journalism in general.
Andreas Hepp
added an update
We published the volume 'Communicative Figurations: Transforming Communications in Times of Deep Mediatization' as open access. You can download it via this link: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-65584-0
 
Andreas Hepp
added 18 research items
This chapter draws on three research projects on journalism, audience practices and newsroom cultures and uses them to illustrate the changing nature of the communicative relationship between journalists and audiences operating in a media environment characterized by digital technologies. This development in communicative practices is already yielding changes in traditional newsroom routines and could lead to a shift in the communicative orientation of journalism that puts an emphasis on dialogue, moderation and curation, instead of the unidirectional dissemination of news, a kind of dissemination that might not suffice any longer as a unique characteristic for journalism in the pluralistic information ecosphere of the digital realm. However, this chapter highlights that this transition follows neither a linear nor a simultaneous process for all segments of journalism, for all journalists or all audience members. In sum, this chapter confronts expectations about innovative journalistic practices and highlights how communicative forms and media ensembles, which were not available in the predigital era, establish new modes of dialogue with audiences. The conclusion discusses how this transformation of communicative figurations among journalists and media users affects their self-conception with regards to their roles and core functions in their given community and in society as a whole.
This chapter deepens the discussion on the problem of contextualizing digital traces. First, digital traces are reflected as a phenomenon of media-related complexity more generally. Secondly, the example of data from learning management systems is taken to discuss possible strategies of how to put such automatically generated data into context by the use of qualitative methods that become triangulated. On such a basis, some conclusions are drawn about the future challenges of this kind of research. Overall, this chapter can only argue in an exemplary way, taking a specific and thus limited case of analysis. But such detailed discussion makes it possible to outline different options for future methodological developments in media and communication research.
Andreas Hepp
added a project goal
Recent studies on media change, communicative construction and mediatization have demonstrated that it is not simply the effect of particular media content or a single medium that change the world. It is rather the increasing establishment of technical communication media altogether that leads to a transformation. Accordingly, understanding the significance of media for the transformation of socio-cultural realities can only be achieved when capturing transmedial communicative interweaving – what we designate as “communicative figurations”. The aim of the research network of the Universities of Bremen and Hamburg is to support research on the re-figuration of different social domains in times of deep mediatization.