Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Mediatisation of public life: controversies in the sphere of politics and everyday life

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.06.00  Social sciences  Political science   

Code Science Field
S265  Social sciences  Press and communication sciences 

Code Science Field
5.06  Social Sciences  Political science 
Mediatisation, publicity, publicness, visibility, political communication, photography, social media, internet
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  31973  PhD Jernej Amon Prodnik  Political science  Researcher  2014 - 2017  263 
2.  28195  PhD Veronika Bajt  Social sciences  Researcher  2014 - 2017  243 
3.  28994  PhD Živa Humer  Social sciences  Researcher  2014 - 2017  254 
4.  30964  PhD Boris Mance  Political science  Junior researcher  2014 - 2017  40 
5.  21687  PhD Mojca Pajnik  Political science  Researcher  2014 - 2017  621 
6.  29056  PhD Aleksander Sašo Slaček Brlek  Political science  Researcher  2014 - 2017  116 
7.  03661  PhD Slavko Splichal  Political science  Head  2014 - 2017  722 
8.  10661  PhD Janez Štebe  Sociology  Researcher  2016  373 
9.  26349  PhD Ilija Tomanić Trivundža  Political science  Researcher  2014 - 2017  228 
10.  27570  PhD Maja Turnšek  Economics  Researcher  2014 - 2017  309 
11.  29384  PhD Igor Vobič  Political science  Researcher  2014 - 2017  272 
12.  25476  PhD Žiga Vodovnik  Political science  Researcher  2014 - 2017  302 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0366  Peace Institute  Ljubljana  5498295000  3,630 
2.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,360 
3.  3045  University of Maribor, Faculty of Tourism  Brežice  5089638054  3,265 
The proposed project responds to a pressing need for theoretical progress to better understand whether, and in which respects, various components and aspects of society and everyday life are becoming more mediatised, and in what sense; how this has changed over time; which forms may be discerned in different spheres of life and society; and with what results. The main aim of this project is to build a comprehensive look on how the technological and social convergence of the media based on digitisation (trans)form processes of mediatisation and what are its consequences in online and offline social environments. A comparative analysis of actions of three main types of actors (politics, civil society, private citizens) shall enable us to develop a typology of factors that shape the forms and modes of mediatisation of online and offline actions in different environments. In that perspective, the project will address the question of whether the convergence of media serves social actors as merely a tool for a more efficacious coordination of their instrumental and communicative actions or it substantially redefines their understating of social actions and communications that can be observed in new mediatised forms of communicative and instrumental actions. The proposed project aims to study the problems of mediatisation of public life and controversies in the sphere of politics and everyday life that mediatisation generates. To effectively achieve the objectives of the project, research will take place in three parallel work packages, which will operate in close collaboration: (1) mediatisation in the sphere of (professional) politics; (2) social movements, internetisation and alternative politics; and (3) the “ubiquitous photography” and its uses in private and public life. Media research has given much attention in recent years to the processes of mediatisation, in which the influence of the mass media on other institutions (or spheres) of society – and in everyday-life – increases. Since the 1980s, the growing intrusion of media into the sphere of politics brought about sharp critiques of the “media-driven republic,” in which mass media threaten to usurp the functions of political institutions. A closer analysis of the empirical evidence that followed early critiques revealed that despite an expanded power of mass media, political institutions in many countries largely have retained their functions. Nevertheless, the relationship between the media and political institutions has been changed significantly: although political institutions remain in control of political processes and functions, they are increasingly dependent on and shaped by mass media. Political actors are both exposed and actively involved in the processes of mediatisation. More recently, the internet and social media have changed the nature of mediatisation to such a degree that we could speak of ‘internetisation’ on top of ‘mediatisation’. The concept of internetisation – inseparably connected with globalisation of all transactions – denotes the pervasive and far reaching influence of the internet on all aspects of human life in contemporary societies. The internet has been completely integrated with the ‘pre-internet’ modes of activities to the degree that the sense of its distinction from the way we ‘traditionally’ get things done in politics, economy, culture, science or every-day life largely disappeared. The expansion and ubiquity of the Internet have made social – communicative and instrumental – actions and practices increasingly digitised and “internetised” and brought about entirely new (political) practices. This raises the key question of how to understand actions of a variety of social (and political) actors in the “internetised” political environments, which are no longer ‘ruled’ by traditional media attention characteristic of the earlier period of democratic (mass) political communication.
Significance for science
The research project addresses theoretical and empirical questions of mediatisation of professional politics by linking them to alternative democratic practices in the public sphere (with forms of activism and citizenship as counterparts to traditional forms of politics) and (semi-)private or public-private communicative actions taken by individuals in social networks. Politics is influenced by mediatisation in a much more complex way than original conceptualisations implied, which calls for a more systematic investigation of this relationship. Contemporary problems of (representative) democracy in a digitised and globalised world, and attempts of democratic theory to overcome the ‘democratic deficit’, are closely related to processes of mediatisation and their impact on citizens’ access to the mediatised public sphere and legitimacy of democratic communication (mediation between civil society and the state). The research has shown that mediatization and internetization are introducing new dynamics in the operation of individuals and social groups, allowing them to connect and operate in a transnational context. If online communication, on the one hand, provides alternative politics, on the other hand it is scattered, often focused on particular issues, which limits the possibilities of consensual activity in the online environment. The project has expanded the understanding of the role of mass media for the functioning of institutional political actors and protest movements, while also pointing to the limitations of the mediatization approach and the conceptual apparatus of the “media logic” assumed by this approach. We have found that the mediatization approach needs to be complemented or replaced with other theoretical-analytical approaches, including sociology of the media, critical approaches to political communication and the political economy of the media. This project not only provides an updated view on mediatisation to feed into future research in the field, but also informs policy and practice of mediatised governance, and contributes to the development of political (communication) culture in Slovenia. Although the project does not employ the mediatisation concept to analyse the relationship between science and the mass media, its findings are potentially relevant not only to the discipline of media studies but also – at least in pragmatic terms – to science as a whole. The importance of the research results for the development of science is best indicated by the numerous articles published by the research team in international scientific journals, such as The International journal of media and cultural politics, Javnost : The Public, Lex localis, Journalism practice and many other scientific journals, and in monographs in international scientific publishing houses, such as Routledge, and papers and invited lectures at international scientific conferences, as shown in earlier sections of this report (see the realization of the submitted program in the research project and the presentation of the most important achievements of the project team in the research field.
Significance for the country
Problems and issues of mediatisation of politics, public sphere and everyday life are, by their very nature, issues that indirectly and even directly affect any modern society. Given its transitional nature with rather ‘flexible’ social structures and institutions, this is even more the case of the Slovenian society. This research emerges from a growing recognition that not only civic organizations but also political parties and governments need to transform their practices in order to communicatively engage diverse social groups and individuals, who are exposed to important and long-term consequences of actions performed by alienated decision-makers. The results of the research show that the Slovenian media barely served as a connecting force and a common forum for an inclusive and open debate in the time of a strong crisis legitimacy; journalists rarely described and explained the systemic nature of the crisis, and the solutions were predominantly represented within the dominant paradigms or through the neoliberal prism, which was primarily taken up by political and economic power, and mainly focused on single events, simplified comparisons and the naturalization of the established division of power at both national and international levels. The use of these research results could have a significant impact on the quality of Slovenian journalism. This was also demonstrated by the discussion on the results of the project at a conference on participatory media, in which besides researchers, representatives of the wider public were involved, including community media, Radio and Television of Slovenia, the World Association of Community Radio Stations (AMARC) and local politics. In this way, the key stakeholders were acquainted with the preliminary results of the research, and their feedback has significantly contributed to the further course of research.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
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