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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 2, 2015

The molding of mediatization: The stratified indispensability of media in close relationships

André Jansson
From the journal Communications

Abstract

This article presents a quantitative analysis of how different socio-cultural factors, including lifestyle, affect the extent to which different media are perceived as indispensable for maintaining close relations with family and friends. Through applying ‘indispensability’ as an indicator of the mediatization of social life, the study provides a concrete illustration of how mediatization is continuously molded through socio-cultural processes in everyday life. The results are based on a national survey conducted in Sweden and show that e-mail and video calls constitute a culturally distinctive ensemble of communication, especially in comparison to online chat functions and Facebook. E-mail is valued especially among people with higher education who lead globally oriented lifestyles thus testifying to the enduring status of text-based communication in the longer format as a cultural marker. The study thus suggests that the modalities of communication that certain media make possible are important to how these media are perceived as cultural properties as well as social technics.

Published Online: 2015-11-2
Published in Print: 2015-11-1

©2015 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston

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