Research at ERMeCC

Researchers and PhD students associated with ERMeCC conduct research at the crossroads of media and communication, culture and economy, technology and social change. The digital and globalized world provides a focus for our research, which considers a variety of media and cultural forms, ranging from the printed to the digital, from popular to high arts, from multinational to local producers, and from mainstream to alternative media and cultures. We seek to advance interdisciplinary, empirical work based upon scholarship in various social science and humanities disciplines and we are committed to the development of comparative and multi-method approaches to research.

Both the "old" and the "new" media are capable of reaching large numbers of people in diverse social settings. Consequently, media can be powerful agents of social change, which may serve as catalysts for or brakes on social renewal and reform. The media and cultural industries also represent a significant business sector, which has undergone a true metamorphosis in recent decades, due to several, interrelated, technological, economic, social, cultural, and political developments.

Our work addresses transformations in media and culture as well as their transformational power in society. We seek to elucidate current developments and changes in the media and cultural industries, as well as the changing ways in which individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions use media and culture to express their identities and ideas and to advance their positions. We study these transformations in relation to a range of wider societal forces and developments, notably diverse interactive communication technologies, the shifting relations between the global, the national and the local, increased social diversity and individualization.

Research Aims

In our research, we aim to assess and qualify:

(I) How interactive communication technologies, and processes associated with globalization, increased social diversity and individualization have impacted and transformed:

  • pre-existing structures, processes and practices in the production, distribution and consumption of media and culture;
  • the form and content of media and cultural products;
  • the reception and valuation of various forms of media and culture in society.

(II) How the above societal and field-level developments have altered:

  • the interdependencies of media and cultural production fields, the political sphere and the market;
  • the role and performance of media and culture as agents of social and cultural change;
  • the ways in which all kinds of social actors - consumers, citizens, social groups or movements, political organizations, government institutions, commercial enterprises, etcetera - use media and culture to advance their views and position in society.