Accepted Paper:

Mediatized local: media reshaping the local and the local response to media impact  


Łukasz Leszek Sokołowski (Warsaw University)

Paper short abstract:

The impact of media on local worlds will be discussed. I'm going to discuss <1> how media influence and change local worlds, <2> how local communities reinterpretate media and finally <3> how new, mediatized local is created and what kind of conceptive and methodological implications it has.

Paper long abstract:

Ethnographical approach to media and its influence on local worlds is new though very inspiring subfield of anthropology. It is generally described that individuals in contemporary world are involved in enlarging global flow of information on witch postindustrial, non-static "new capitalism" is established. People are believed to move in constant flow, both geographically and intellectually. In such circumstances the classical conception of local and fieldwork method's seem not to be exactly appropriate.

In fact however, local community, and specific anthropological approach to it are the best of all offered by social science methods to catch the global changes under "local microscope". Researching local and interpreting local contexts and noticing how they reshape information transferred by media seem to give the best image of media impact. There is no local that does not seem to be mediatized. And when some individuals prefer to follow cultural traits offered by popular media, the others turn to what they believe to be traditional local, but use media in this movement as well. Consequently in both cases the new, mediatized local is created. Hence definition and research methods of local ask for new approach. The classical techniques like participant observation or stationary research, however, still seem to be useful.

In my paper I'm going to (1) discuss the theories of media impact on local, (2) give two examples from my fieldwork experience in south-east Poland showing how media broadcast is reinterpreted and mediatized in local context and (3) discuss methodological implication of mediatization of local.

Panel IW05
Local encounters with the global: diversity of anthropological fieldwork approaches in globalization studies