Conference Agenda

RN07_09b: Sociology of Culture: Media and digitalization
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Mark Jacobs, George Mason University
Location: GM.335
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road


The Role of New Media in the Transmission of Culture

Marie-Claude Lapointe, Jason Luckerhoff, Anne-Sophie Prévost

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada

According to many authors (e.g. Donnat, 2004), culture is initially transmitted or influenced by family, friends and teachers. In addition, there are sources of influence other than family and school, such as media and the Internet (Bellavance, Valence and Ratté, 2004; Dortier, 2002). Varied cultural content, which may be different from what individuals have been exposed to in their immediate family or school sphere, coexist in the same environment. Increasingly trendy, young people have the opportunity to be introduced to a variety of cultural genres. Our attention is focused here on agents of socialization: Are they always the same? Do they play the same role? How do young people perceive the influence of social media and celebrities on their cultural choices, tastes and consumption? We conducted 52 qualitative interviews with young Quebeckers on different themes (travel, reading, music, movies, television series, social networks, video games and food). We then submitted a summary of the results to thirty young people in three group interviews. The results show the ever-present influence of family, school, life partners and friends. They also highlight the influence that one cultural practice can have on another, and that social networks are a means by which young people are influenced by people they know, and also by influencers and algorithms. These influences can be unidirectional, bidirectional, intergenerational or trans-generational and they are part of a trajectory.

Communicating European culture: Cultural value orientation and media usage in Europe

Nete Nørgaard Kristensen, Marc Verboord

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, The

Given the current European political climate, we argue that it is an important question how Europeans view their cultural heritage and, more broadly, cultural value. This paper maps these patterns, and examines how perceptions are related to their media usage. Drawing on data from the Eurobarometer in October 2017, we examine which cultural value orientations are most prevalent at the moment in European Union countries, and how these are related to using traditional and online media, trust in journalists and other institutional actors, and the media system in which users find their news. The data contain information on 28 EU countries and are analyzed using multilevel analysis.

From the empirical results we can distinguish three distinct types of cultural value orientation among Europeans: valuing cultural heritage, valuing cultural exchange, and skepticism towards European culture. At the individual level, all types of media usage positively influence the first two orientations. Trust in journalists and other experts also leads to more attributed value, and it negatively influences skepticism. At the country level, results are somewhat counter-intuitive: larger shares of public broadcasters and print media does not foster valuing heritage or exchange. Larger social inequalities in a country (Gini index) are associated with more value and less skepticism. As the paper aims to contribute new knowledge to the study of Europeans’ cultural value orientations by incorporating the media context, it draws on three strands of research – cultural sociology, cross-national media audience research, and journalism studies.

Digitalization Practices and Their Effect on Nationalization and Transnationalization in National Museums – a Theoretical Framework and an Outline of a Research Project

Maija Spurina

Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia

Advancement of digital technologies and connective media provides an opportunity to get rid of institutional, disciplinary, and also national boundaries. This connectivity potentially might result in identity narratives that challenge conventional national frameworks and broaden the range of imaginable. Yet, how this potentiality is realized is an empirical question that can be answered only through a close look at digitalization as it is practiced by institutions of culture, such as museums.

The paper provides an overview of the relevant theoretical and empirical literature on digitalization and transnationalization of collective memory and outlines a comparative empirical research project of digitalization practices museums. It is a presentation of the results of the first stage of a three-year long research project “Digitalization Practices and their Effect on Nationalization and Transnationalization in National Museums” at the Latvian Academy of Culture, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The purpose of the project is to compare digitalization practices in three national museums and to address two current issues in cultural sociology of memory: first, how digitalization affects the social structure and practices of memory, and second, how transnational memory frameworks are formed and how they interrelate with until now prevalent national frameworks.

Digital Identity and Self-presentation on the Internet: A Case Study of the Dark Fetish Network

Kristina Pejković

University of Novi Sad, Serbia

This paper presents a case study of the social networking website Dark Fetish Network through the approach of internet ethnography, and that is realized through the Gofman's theory of social dramaturgy. The Dark Fetish Network is a specific phenomenon because users of this network have a "dark“ fetishes and fantasies that include criminogenic actions such as murder, cannibalism, and so on, and it exists on Google, the legal part of the Internet. The vital question of this paper is how the registered useres at Dark Fetish Network behave and communicate in the online sphere on this platform. The basic hypothesis of this work is that Dark Fetish Network useres point out certain information in the foreground, that points to their fetish or fantasy, and in that way they play "desired" roles. That means that they manage the impressions of other users (their audience) by highlighting information about themselves that will attract useres with similar fetishes or at least compatible (for example, sadism and masochism). This work is based on a biennial ethnographic analysis of the users’ profiles, textual and audiovisual content that is shared by them and the ways in which they are grouped.