The Generational Role of Media and Social Memory: A Research Agenda
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The theme of the relation between the media and the generations has been much explored in recent years, with significant results in both the field of media studies and the sociology of culture. On the media studies side the generational approach has been particularly important in relativising the role of technical evolution. Both the emergence of new media, and the evolution within each medium are considered explicable in the generational approach only if we consider the role played by the ever-new waves of youth audiences (who have experienced innovation as natural and coherent with their needs) in making these socially and successfully acceptable innovations. On the other hand, considering the media enables sociology to assess one of the essential factors in the permanence of rituals of usage, habits and memorial contents during the aging of generations and their self-identification in coexistence with the different generations (earlier or later). Within this strand of studies, the present paper aims to consider the interaction between the media, generational belonging and social memory. First, the relationships between memory and generational identity are discussed. Secondly, the role played by the media in collective memory building is analyzed. Finally, a new model of the relationship between the media, social memory and generational belonging is discussed, in the light of the previous discussions. As an example, the model is applicated to the case of the different memories of Tienanmen events (1989) in China and in Western Countries.
keywordsMedia; time; social memory; digital media; generations.
Towards the Platformization of (Social) Media Memory: Articulating Archive, Assemblage, and Ephemerality
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