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Digital Orientations

Non-Media-Centric Media Studies and Non-Representational Theories of Practice

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Shaun Moores

Might it be possible to rearticulate the term digital in digital media, so that it refers at least as much to the deft movements or orientations of hands and fingers (of digits) as it does to the new media technologies themselves? What if digital media are understood as manual media?

Has the academic field of media studies tended to focus too much on media, and not enough on the practices and experiences of daily living that help to give media their meaningfulness? What if media researchers were to pay more attention to knowledge-in-movement or to matters of orientation and habitation, and rather less to those of symbolic representation and cognitive interpretation?

Digital Orientations is a bold call for non-media-centric media studies (and ultimately for everyday-life studies) with a non-representational theoretical emphasis. The author engages here with a broad range of work from across the humanities and social sciences, drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological philosophy, Ingold’s anthropology, the geographies of Massey, Seamon and Thrift, and the sociologies of Bourdieu, Sudnow and Urry.

Preface and Acknowledgements – Non-Media-Centric Media Studies and Non-Representational Theories of Practice – Conceptualising Place in a World of Flows – Media Uses and Everyday Environmental Experiences: A Positive Critique of Phenomenological Geography – That Familiarity with the World Born of Habit: On Merleau-Ponty and Everyday Media Use – On the Environmental Experiences of Trans-European Migrants: Knowing How to Get Around (with Monika Metykova) – We Find Our Way About Everyday Media Use and Inhabitant Knowledge – Non-Media-Centric Media Studies: A Cross-Generational Conversation (with Zlatan Krajina and David Morley) – Digital Orientations: Ways of the Hand and Practical – Knowing in Media Uses and Other Manual Activities – About the Author – Index.