Media Practices and Sustainability
Dr. Sigrid Kannengießer
Central Research Development Funding, University of Bremen
How do people appropriate media in order to contribute to sustainability? The postdoc project (Habilitation) by Sigrid Kannengießer investigates this research question in three different case studies, which are analysed comparatively: First, the repairing of media technologies in Repair Cafés is examined, secondly, the production and appropriation of fair media technologies is analysed using the example of Fairphone, a smartphone, which should be produced under fair and sustainable conditions, and thirdly, websites which advertise for sustainability are researched using the example of the website www.utopia.de.
These cases are examples of consumption-critical media practices (Kannengießer 2016): “Consumption-critical media practices are those practices which either use media to criticize (certain) consumption or which are (conscious) alternatives to the consumption of media technologies such as repairing or exchanging media technologies or producing durable media devices.” (Kannengießer 2016, 198)
Prolonging the life-span of media technologies to contribute to a sustainable society is one of the aims people follow when repairing their media devices in Repair Cafés or producing and appropriating fair and sustainable media technologies. The third case study shows that people also use media content to reach for sustainability.
The project analysis consumption-critical media practices from a critical perspective and also takes ambivalences within these practices into account. Nevertheless, the practices analysed are attempts to contribute to a sustainable society using media.
Kannengießer, Sigrid (2016): Conceptualizing consumption-critical media practices as political participation. In: Leif Kramp/Nico Carpentier/Andreas Hepp/Richard Kilborn/ Risto Kunelius/Hannu Nieminen/Tobias Olsson/Simone Tosoni/Ilija Tomanic Trivundža/Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt (Hrsg.): Politics, Civil Society and Participation. Tartu: Tartu University Press, S. 193-207.