Volume 18, 2017
The Concept of Mediatization
Some Phenomenological and Ontological Remarks
The purpose of this article is to present some central phenomenological remarks that are pertinent to the ongoing debate concerning mediatization theory. There are two extreme views in this discussion. First, proponents of mediatization theory argue that late modern (Western) societies are increasingly dependent on media and their logic. Second, some scholars see “mediatization” as an umbrella term for loosely connected descriptive studies of present-day media culture. This article introduces a third view of the topic. According to the argument presented here, the concept behind mediatization theory is valid but erroneously defined in terms of dependence relations of cause-effect type. To overcome this, mediatization theory should rely on Ingarden- and Searle-style social ontology and use ground-consequent dependence as its main explanatory tool. This approach also proposes that re-mediation and social institutions created by re-mediation are the characteristics of a mediatized society.