Accepted Paper:

Media technologies at home: how urban poor (culturally) consume mass media?  

Authors:

Hakan Ergül (Anadolu University)
Incilay Cangoz (Anadolu University)
Emre Gökalp (Anadolu University)

Paper short abstract:

This study is an attempt to understand how and in what ways the urban poor use mass mediation technologies in everyday life. Applying audience ethnography and utilizing a multiperspectival approach, we examine the ways that the poor families, representing different ethnical, dinominational affiliations and political preferences, consume media technologies in their own cultural environment.

Paper long abstract:

This study is an attempt to understand how and in what ways the urban poor conceive and use the mass mediation technologies in their everyday life. Applying audience ethnography and utilizing a multiperspectival approach -long-term participant observations and survey analysis-, we examine the ways that the urban poor families, representing different ethnical, dinominational affiliations and political preferences, consume media technologies in their own cultural environment. The data was collected from two discrete districts, representing the most diverse locations in Eskisehir, the sixth developed city, Turkey.

The rate of poverty in Turkey is incomparably higher than it is in all over EU member and candidate states. However, the poor people, marginalized in the public spheres and suffered by social exclusion, almost always "othered" by the phobic media representations (e.g. crime). Despite the socio-economic commonalities of the poor families, the media, on the other hand, remain as primary source of information and channels of discourse through which the different cultural, national and political identities of the poor are (re)constructed.

This study aims to assess the dominant cultural roles that conventional (e.g. television, newspapers) and new media (e.g. Internet, mobile phones) play in the everyday life of the poor families to show how gender-based, ethnical, political and denominational diversities reflect on the ways in which the families consume the media technologies in their own social network and private domains. Moreover, the ethnografic data enables us to interrogate the ways global images circulated by mass media were perceived in economically and socially isolated localities.

Panel W071
Media, technology, and knowledge cultures: anthropological perspectives on issues of diversity, mutuality and exclusion