Approaching media as socio-technical assemblages in a datafied age
In times when new means of communication are emerging, it becomes increasingly relevant to revisit and reconsider media studies’ main concerns, and how contemporary media can be understood and studied. This paper draws attention to how the presumption of characteristics belonging to certain entities may elevate problems in a datafied age when streaming services, texts, content, producers, audiences, social media sites, and television are always intensely entangled. Here, the paper argues that it might no longer make sense, or even be possible, to make clear-cut distinctions between such entities. The paper further elaborates on the relevance and possibilities for media studies to draw upon actor-network theory (ANT). The paper argues that ANT, through its ideas of approaching objects as situated and local, can be a useful alternative theoretical approach when studying media phenomena in a datafied age.
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