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Is ‘mediatization’ the new paradigm for our field? A commentary on Deacon and Stanyer (2014, 2015) and Hepp, Hjarvard and Lundby (2015)

Lunt, Peter and Livingstone, Sonia ORCID: 0000-0002-3248-9862 (2016) Is ‘mediatization’ the new paradigm for our field? A commentary on Deacon and Stanyer (2014, 2015) and Hepp, Hjarvard and Lundby (2015). Media, Culture and Society, 38 (3). pp. 462-470. ISSN 0163-4437

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0163443716631288


In responding to the debate about the theory of mediatization, we reject criticisms that foreclose prematurely on this set of new ideas potentially worthy of further exploration and we give more attention to the fundamental questions that critics have asked about mediatization. We note that controversy centres on the claim that mediatization is a societal metaprocess of the order of globalization, individualization and commercialization. Substantiating this claim would require an ambitious, evidenced account of socio-historical change over centuries, along with recognition of mediatization research as a valuable contribution to the analysis of modernity on which scholars in other supposedly-mediatized disciplines now draw. We invite sceptics of mediatization to articulate their critique by reference to the now sizeable body of writing on this concept. We call on proponents of mediatization – along with others keen to understand social and media change within modernity – to consider: (i) whether and how existing research on media’s changing role within a variety of domains can be productively reinterpreted within a mediatization frame; (ii) the implications of such work for existing theories, including in those of other disciplines; and (iii) how to advance analysis of the relations between mediatization and the other metaprocesses of modernity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2015 13:11
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:31

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