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Digitization: New trajectories of mediatization?

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  • Niels Ole Finnemann, Denmark
Processes of digitization have for years represented a major trend in the developments of modern society but have only recently been related to processes of mediatization.
The purpose of this article is to look into the relation between the concepts of mediatization and digitization and to clarify what a concept of digital media might add to the understanding of processes of mediatization and what the concept of mediatization might add to the understanding of digital media.
It is argued that digital media open an array of new trajectories in human communication, trajectories which were not anticipated in previous conceptualizations of media and mediatization. If digital media are to be included, the concept of mediatization has to be revised and new parameters are to be built into the concept of media. At the same time it is argued that the concept of mediatization still provides a variety of perspectives of relevance for the study of digital media.
The claim that the concept of mediatization has to be reinterpreted in order to embrace digital media can only be legitimized if digital media are conceived of as distinct from the media formerly referred to by mediatization theory. Such main characteristics are presented and digital media defined in section 3, while section 2 is devoted to theories of mediatization and the notion of media. Section 4 analyses the relation between mediatization and digitization. Finally, in section 5, Medium Theory is revisited to harvest some missing fruits in contemporary mediatization theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMediatization of Communication
EditorsKnut Lundby
Number of pages25
Place of publicationBerlin
PublisherMouton de Gruyter
Publication year2014
ISBN (print)978-3-11-027193-5, 978-3-11-027221-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-039345-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
SeriesHandbooks of Communication Science

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