How culture and society change with the media

Constant availability by cell phone, dating on the web, new media in school and church: media communication is accompanied by profound changes in culture and society. However, how do these transformations take place? How do new media affect human life? The research network “Communicative Figurations” explores the increasing interdependence of human life with the media in transforming “communicative figurations”. The joint project was initiated by the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) of the University of Bremen and successfully selected through an international peer review process. As part of the Excellence Initiative of the federal and state governments of Germany, it is supported by the University of Bremen as a “Creative Unit” for a period of three years. “With the ’Creative Units’ in the excellence concept of the University of Bremen, new range of topics will be developed beyond existing profile areas and systematically promoted,” Professor Rolf Drechsler, Vice Rector for Research and Young Academics at the University of Bremen, explains the extraordinary funding format “Creative Unit”.

The starting point for the research network: Recent studies on international communication and media research have shown that it is not simply the impact of individual media contents that changes the world. “Mediatization research demonstrates that the growing establishment of technical communication media as a whole and the resulting change of the ‘manufacture’ of our reality are core moments of this transformation,” says Professor AndreasHepp, first spokesperson of the ZeMKI. If we take this seriously, he adds, the challenges of media change can only be grasped by examining its overall interrelations – its communicative figurations.

The Creative Unit investigates this matter from the point of view of  ‘individuals’, their ‘relationships’ and the different ‘fields’ of mediatized cultures and societies. The aim is through the innovative linking of the humanities with social sciences to find an answer to the following question: How significant is the transformation of media and communication for culture and society?

At the start of the Creative Unit, eight posts for academic staff are being advertised. The application deadline is April 22nd. Information about the Creative Unit and job vacancies can be accessed on the website of the research network

Press contact:
University of Bremen
ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Sciences
Linzer Str 4
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49-421-218-67620
email: andreas.heppprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de
Twitter: @Andreas_Hepp

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