Reframing the Relations of Media, Knowledge, and Innovation in Society
IV. Media and Mediatization
IV Media and Mediatization Culture, Communication, and the Media: The Challenges of Mediatization Research ANDREAS HEPP Introduction There seems to be a general understanding that “culture,” “commu- nication,” and “media” have something to do with each other and that the change of media would also result in a change of the other two: Cultural meaning is produced in communication, and this communica- tion takes place via the media and, as a consequence of all the “new” media which have appeared over recent decades, also our cultures have changed. However, such a general statement opens more questions than it can answer: How do the media exert this influence? Is it appropriate to move the media so much into the foreground? And what, then, does change mean in detail? Within media and communication studies, questions like these are especially discussed in the field of mediatization research. The term “mediatization” does not refer to any closed theory at this point. Ra- ther it refers to a multifaceted tradition that is interested in analyzing the interrelation between media-communicative change and socio- cultural change. And questions like the aforementioned refer to what we might call the most prominent challenges in mediatization re- search. In essence these challenges are: How can we describe a “me- dia specificity” if we share the argument that we are confronted with a multiplicity of media? How can we analyze mediatization in a way that does not position “the media” at the center of everything? And finally: How can we analyze...