With the emergence of the Internet over the last decades, people have access to a wide variety of media content as never before, leading to multiple new media consumption practices. As people integrate new means of communication into their everyday lives, this necessarily leads to questions concerning the relationship between legacy media and digital media. By analyzing representative survey data of adult Internet users in Germany collected in the collaborative research project “The Peoples’ Internet” (PIN), the present study examined media repertoires from a holistic perspective. Via factor and cluster analysis, we identified five distinct media repertoires that significantly differentiated in terms of age, gender and education. For the majority of the German population, legacy media still play a dominant role in everyday life. However, a group of young users mainly relies on a wide range of online media that has the potential to displace legacy media. But rather than expecting a pure displacement of legacy media or just an addition of online media to existing repertoires, our findings suggest to look closely into the specific combinations of ‘old’ and ‘new’ media that can be observed in different parts of the population.
In contemporary cross-media environments it is increasingly difficult to clearly grasp the behavior of media users, and understand the logic with which they move between legacy media, new media and social media, private and public communication, media consumption and content production. This article aims to provide the main evidences of how Italian Internet users draw on this set of media to meet their communication and daily needs. Built in the frame of the “Peoples’ Internet Project”, the study presents the main results of an online survey about frequency, intensity and purposes of different media uses. Even within the now majority segment of the Italian population that accesses and uses the Internet quite intensely, new media have not replaced the old ones; rather, the latter coexist with the former in new “media constellations”. While some of them (Tv and social media above all) are widespread and frequently used, the metamedium function performed by the Internet also allows the extension of some legacy media in the digital media arena, giving new life to old media.
The contemporary media environment is characterized by a high degree of complexity. Users move across different media outlets and digital platforms, and media consumption practices are entangled with other everyday practices. However, this does not imply that everyone uses every existing media outlet or digital platform. Different elements may play a role in media choice and attention location. Relying on the media repertoires approach, and through factor analysis and cluster analysis (based on the cross-country and cross-regional survey PIN – “The Peoples’ Internet”) the aim of this article is to identify different clusters of users characterized by specific patterns and combinations of legacy media and digital platforms. Special attention will be given at the placement of social media in media repertoires as they have a profound impact on mediated societal processes such as political debate, everyday communication, and impact on the whole media ecology. The article will describe which clusters of Italian users can be identified based on their digital and legacy media use; which socio-demographic variables characterize the clusters and how the uses of social media differ within these clusters.
In this article I will analyse three case studies – Chronicle (Josh Trank, 2012), Unfriended (Levan Gabriadze, 2014) and The Visit (M. Night Shyamalan, 2015) – starting from a premise and posing a question. The premise: the gaze on the world of the so-called iGeneration (or post-millennials) is more and more mediated by technical proxies – portable devices, wearable technologies, virtual reality – which redefine viewing paradigms and production/consumption/sharing models of moving images. Our sensorial experience is indeed more and more mediated by the software as cultural interface which keeps on evolving, and less and less by ‘machines’ as hardware. Therefore, the so-called digital natives experience the sensorial reality within the blurring of boundaries between traditional media (cinema, radio, television etc.) into interactive devices which become smaller and smaller. With this article I will ask the following question: how is contemporary Hollywood cinema representing this paradigmatic shift (a digital pictorial turn) in our everyday life? I will take into account a corpus of films with an ‘internal’ point of view, which redefine film storytelling within compositional modes of the new portable devices and assume the existence of a viewer who watches the film on several screens/monitors. Furthermore, I will formulate aesthetic considerations about the iGen’s viewing experience and the survival of Hollywood cinema stylistic features within the new scopic regimes (such as the ‘first person shot’).
Trust in journalistic media has decreased for many years. However, this decline is rarely linked to the transformations of forms of citizenship that characterize citizen participation in public space and a broader process of redefining the relationship between journalism and the public, accelerated by digital communication. The essay analyzes the main reasons for these changes and delineates the characteristics of a new information pact. Journalism delimits the facts, it selects and hierarchizes the events and social phenomena to be brought to the attention of the public opinion. This delimitation takes place on the basis of a negotiation with the sources and the public, progressively less available to rely on the definitions of the situations proposed by the press. The hiatus between the promise of completeness of information and the centrality of the facts and the effective operating modes of journalism is seized by demanding and critical citizens. If they capture limits and partialities in the journalistic mediation, they prefer other readings of society, or to share what is more in line with their vision of the world. However, the peculiarities of digital communication suggest a new informational pact between the journalistic institution and the citizens, in which the dense network of relationships defined between sources, the public and the journalistic system
By considering the wide José Ortega y Gasset’s contribution to a sociological perspective, this paper is aimed at showing the relevance for social theorists of his insights in the field of language, in particular in his conceptualization of the act of saying and of the act of listening to, in their multiple expressions such as reading, translating, creating and reading literary texts, etc. In particular, I will highlight how language is not only a crucial field in which the relation between the individual and society is constituted but, more relevant, that it represents the context in which an original theory of the production of new meanings and insights is latently proposed by Ortega, based on the concept of utopia and on the character of “privilege and honor” connected with it. In order to show this, in conclusion I will take into consideration his work of debut, Meditaciones del Quijote , which can be considered as a general proof of a method consisting in a dialog with a literary masterpiece aimed at producing new insights and keys in order to interpret reality.
During last decades, the presence of mass and pop culture through US politics has been increasingly spreading; and this phenomenon constitutes a very important expression of politainment processes. The article investigates one of those processes: the narrative and symbolic universes of superhero comics and science-fiction (especially those turned into a movie) during the Obama’s Administrations years. The analysis is focused on some characters and features: Superman, Batman and his enemy Joker, and Wonder Woman. Obama was the “Social media president”, and a politician inclined to pop politics and hybridization between politics and entertaiment’s genres (also for generational reasons). Similarly, Obama’s political marketing and spin doctoring often employed frames directly drawn out of comics and sci-fi imaginery. The comics’ characters selectioned in this article represent some of the most famous and popular superheroes, therefore well known not only by fans but the public opinion at large, belonging to the couple of main US publishers in that field: Dc Comics and Marvel. Focus, finally, is dedicated to ideological imaginery of the Star Wars saga, and its usages in American political struggle and debate. This work is interested in describing topics and icons coming from comics and sci-fi imaginery through propaganda and communication in establishment politics; at the same time, the article analyzes some case studies of antagonistic and “bottom-up” political practices. The article aims to identify the motivations why just superheroic imaginery (both in comics and in movies) became an important medium to represent leadership and political struggle metamorphosys during Obama’s years (and in postmodern America, at large).
The article shows the results of a qualitative research on the use of social media by Tunisian and Italian youth, which is part of a broader project on Mediterranean digital culture. More precisely, this work is based on a series of focus groups, and aims at analyzing political participation, engagement and citizen journalism, by focusing on two countries deeply affected by digital propaganda – in Italy, with the growing popularity of Five Star Movement among young people, and in Tunisia with all aftermaths of the Arab Spring. Twelve focus groups were realized, with a total of 96 interviewed. As a result, we will consider two main findings: a critical use of social media, on the one hand, and on the other a not political participation – where youth will reveal to be interested in generational, cultural and territorial issues, rather than in strictly political ones.
How did the Italian national press cover the earthquakes that struck severely the centre of Italy in 2016? How did it cover the tragedy of the people and territories hit by the earthquakes? What were the main practices put in place by journalists? An earthquake is a terrifying, unexpected and destructive event, characteristics that make it highly newsworthy: a perfect kind of news for its widely popular appeal. Journalists have the difficult task of narrating such a tragic event, which requires a dedicated and “dramatic” frame as they must tell stories of death, pain and destruction caused by earthquakes. So, what are the main practices deployed by journalists, who are primarily eyewitnesses, in the narration of the drama? What are the main frames proposed (human interest, attribution of responsibility, economic consequences)? In Italy few studies have been conducted in this field so far. This article aims to identify the kind of storytelling and frames that prevail in the representation of the earthquakes that took place in the centre of Italy. Emphasis is placed on the two earthquakes which registered the highest magnitudes: in Amatrice on 24 August 2016 and in Norcia on 30 October 2016. These two seismic events had different consequences, even though they were of similar magnitudes. This strongly influenced, as will be seen, the kind of coverage newspapers dedicated to them. This study analyses all the articles devoted to the earthquakes that were published between 25 August 2016 (the day after the earthquake in Amatrice) and 9 April 2017 (covering a total of 33 weeks), by five of the most widely read Italian national newspapers (Corriere della Sera, la Repubblica, il Giornale, La Stampa and Il Sole 24 Ore). In total, 5,904 news articles were collected. We then conducted computer-assisted content analysis using T-lab, a linguistic and statistical software for content analysis. The results confirm the increasingly evident emergence, in the chronicles of the earthquake, of human interest framing – namely the narration of strong personal emotional experiences – together with the economic effects of the earthquake (the economic consequences frame), and the debate regarding the institutional actors who were supposed to intervene in the narrated events (the attribution of responsibility frame).
This article analyses the online consumption styles and social relations of adolescents based on the integration of online and offline contexts, accounting for age and gender differences. With respect to this theme, the more recent national and international literature has considered the distinction between ‘real world’ and ‘virtual world’ anachronistic. Current studies consider online and offline spaces not as exclusive worlds to choose from but as two absolutely ‘real’ sides of the same experience. The use and consumption styles of digital media represent high-tech bricolage forms for young people, and communication and online socializing among peers seem to play a positive role in the development of social skills and the sense of identity for adolescents. Moreover, numerous empirical findings highlight an overlap between offline and network-mediated relationships, which tend to integrate traditional social behaviour rather than increase or decrease it. Starting from this theoretical framework, the quantitative research project “Young people and digital media within and outside the school: practices, relationships and sociality” – carried out in collaboration between the universities of Genova, Milano Bicocca, Padova and Salerno – involved a sample of 771 second and fourth grade high school students. The survey was carried out through the administration of a questionnaire in the urban and extra-urban contexts of Como, Genoa, Padua and Salerno. Schools and classes were selected via purposive sampling involving the following upper secondary schools: lyceums, technical institutes and vocational institutes. The results presented in this article focus specifically on the network’s use types and on online and offline relational modes. The findings show how the network is perceived in a multidimensional way by the young respondents, declined as an extension of face-to-face relations, a way to discover new things about known people, a recreational digital space, an expansion of knowledge opportunities and, finally, a place for social experimentation. As for the specific theme of the mediated sociality, in line with what emerges in previous studies, the results seem to confirm that the relations mediated by the network are not a substitute for face-to-face relationships. Rather, they represent an extension for getting in touch with friends and the peer group in order to share different activities and interests.
This article focuses on the application of game elements in urban spaces in processes that enable civic engagement. Starting from the need emerged in the academic debate related to the design and realization of more human-centred cities, it illustrates how the game, and more in particular gamification and civic gamification, can contribute not only to making cities closer to people’s needs and emotions but also encouraging people in taking care of the city, by enabling civic engagement processes. In particular, it shows the results of two trials, during which game solutions for urban spaces that encourage citizen engagement have been designed. The author conducted them using “GaCE - Game for Civic Engagement”, a design framework that provides useful tools to implement this type of solution.
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