W013
Understanding media practices

Convenors:
John Postill (RMIT University)
Birgit Bräuchler (Monash University)
Chair:
John Postill and Birgit Bräuchler
Discussant:
Mark Hobart
Location:
Queens Robertson
Start time:
19 September, 2006 at 11:30
Session slots:
4

Short abstract:

This workshop will explore the current state of the anthropological study of media practices and what directions it may take in future (An EASA Media Anthropology Network Workshop).

Long abstract:

In recent years, anthropologists have taken a great interest in the study of media. A plethora of ethnographic studies, three media anthropology readers, one historical survey of this research area and the EASA Media Anthropology Network are some examples of this growing interest. Although this area of research is marked by a high degree of theoretical and empirical diversity, most anthropologists working in it concentrate their efforts on the study of 'media practices', including practices of visual representation, telework, TV production and consumption, news making, radio drama, biomedicine, online dating, web forums, cyberactivism, e-government, blogging and text messaging. Drawing on these kinds of case studies, this workshop is aimed at exploring the current state of the anthropological study of media practices, and what directions it may take in future. Contributors may wish to address questions such as: What do we actually mean by 'media practices'? What are the key theoretical and methodological problems attending their study? How do different theories of practice aid or hinder anthropological analyses of media practices? In what ways do different media practices overlap with one another and with non-media practices? How can we begin to map and theorise the bewildering diversification of media practices in recent years?