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Media TechnologiesEssays on Communication, Materiality, and Society$
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Tarleton Gillespie, Pablo J. Boczkowski, and Kirsten A. Foot

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262525374

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262525374.001.0001

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Materiality and Media in Communication and Technology Studies

Materiality and Media in Communication and Technology Studies

An Unfinished Project

(p.21) 2 Materiality and Media in Communication and Technology Studies
Media Technologies

Leah A. Lievrouw

The MIT Press

A newly materialist approach to the study of media technologies is emerging in several fields, including cultural studies, digital humanities, and science and technology studies (STS). Yet most technology scholarship in the communication field, informed by classical media research, still follows a broadly constructivist line focused on the meanings, appropriations, representations and semiology of communication technology and its uses. This chapter explores the conceptualization of communication and media technologies at the intersection of STS and communication studies, surveying and comparing key concepts or schools of thought in each field. A framework for mediation is proposed as a way to theorize material artifacts, communication practices, and social arrangements or structures as mutually-constitutive elements of communication and media technology.

Keywords:   mediation, new materialism, materiality and media, technological momentum, actor networks, co-production, communication networks, medium theory, digital humanities, media artifacts

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