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Debates about mediatization have until now been largely an internal concern of media and communications research, yet carry the promise of opening up something more fundamental: a complete rethinking of the dynamics, even the dimensionality, of the space of social action in an age when everyday life has become supersaturated with media flows. This chapter will explore what mediatization theory might plausibly contribute to that larger question within social theory, focussing particularly on how the concept of mediatization, understood from a certain angle, can enter a productive dialogue with those working within the tradition of Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory; there are indeed other possibilities for mediatization scholars to engage with social theory as noted earlier, but this seems one of the most promising for reasons explained below. Such arguments will be developed within the broader context of debates on media’s contributions to late modernity and in particular on the transformations associated with the predominance of digital media contents and platforms.

About the author

Nick Couldry (n.couldry@gold.ac.uk)
Nick Couldry joined the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, in September 2006 from the London School of Economics, where he had been teaching since 2001, after undertaking his MA, PhD and first teaching post at Goldsmiths. He is the author or editor of ten books including The Place of Media Power: Pilgrims and Witnesses of the Media Age (Routledge 2000), Inside Culture (Sage 2000), Media Rituals: A Critical Approach (Routledge, 2003), Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World (Rowman and Littlefield 2003, coedited with James Curran), Media Events in a Global Age (Routledge 2009, co-edited with Andreas Hepp and Friedrich Krotz), and most recently Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics After Neoliberalism (Sage 2010). Nick Couldry is the Director of the Goldsmiths Centre for the study of Global Media and Democracy, leads the Storycircle project within the FIRM Consortium funded by the EPSRC that researches digital platforms and narrative exchange in the context of the MediaCityUK development in Salford (other consortium members include Cambridge, MIT, the Universities of Salford and Lancaster, and the BBC)