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Asocial Media Studies: Bourdieu as Remedy
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Media and Communication Studies. (Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6689-0710
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Contemporary media studies has a tendency of ‘bracketing out’ the social dimension, and thus it needs to be better versed in social theory. Failing to account for "the social" is problematic since all media, and all communication are located in social contexts. This paper offers an exploration of the epistemological consequences of insisting on the location of media production, media content, and media use in social contexts in terms of Bourdieu’s social theory. A Bourdieusian approach to media and communication involves understanding that media production is always situated in complex, multi-leveled relations of power, be it the journalistic field, the field of cultural production or the wider social space occupied by the ‘produser’ of mediated content. The perspective furthermore implicates a refusal to succumb to an ‘internalist vision’ when studying communication or the content of the media that is the result of isolating communication from its context of production and consumption, which is where meaning is ultimately generated. Finally, it involves studying media use as a classifying practice that is becoming increasingly mediated through the habitus and an agents’ position in social space as the media landscape gains in appeal to persons – as individuals with preferences, tastes and lifestyles – rather than masses. It is argued that a move towards Bourdieusian media studies ushers the study of old and new forms of media production, content and use onto paths that provoke critical and enduring questions of the role of media in society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Bourdieu, media-centrism, social theory, critical media studies, field theory, social space, media sociology, cultural sociology
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37782OAI: diva2:849248
12th ESA Conference "Differences, inequalities and sociological imagination " - European Sociological Association, Prague, 25-25 August 2015
Available from: 2015-08-27 Created: 2015-08-27 Last updated: 2016-07-04Bibliographically approved

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Lindell, Johan
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