After Media Literacy –
Media Competence – The Challenge of Media Change
Universiti Putra Malaysia Nov. 9, 2011
Thomas A. Bauer, Dr. Univ. Prof.
Department of Communication
Faculty of Social Sciences
University Vienna / Austria
www.thomasbauer.at
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MEDIA CULTURE – THE SYMBOLIC ENVIRONMENT FOR
SOCIAL COMMUNICATION
Main Theses:
1- Media – the universal language system: a reference system of symbolic interaction in
everyday life for the exchange of experience, perception, observation, and construction
of meaning (S.J. Schmidt, A. Schütz, Th. Luckmann)
2- From language/media literacy to socio-media competence:
adaptive/ affirmative / repressive vs. authentic, self-competent / emancipative/
elaborated use of language / media (H.M.Enzensberger, B.Bernstein, J. Habermas)
3- Language/media habit - generative grammar and appropriation of reality (N. Chomsky,
P. Bourdieu, M. de Certeau)
4- From socialized to social use of media (situational, technological) position of reading
(decoding): affirmative (adopted), natural, oppositional (Th. A. Bauer, A. Hepp, S. Hall)
5- From compensation programs to participation competence: self-realization as a balance
of environmental relationship (J. Piaget, D. Baacke)
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MASS-MEDIA CULTURE – MEDIA MASS-CULTURE THE CODE OF MEDIA SOCIETY
The model of hierarchical and industrial society?
MassMediaCommunication:
Journalism: organizational system for distribution of information
and news shaping public opinion (technology & organisational
strategy (system of trust) media in an industrial manner
professionalism of production (technological perfection)
against ignorant / dependent audience?
shaping the responsibility for mutual understanding: socialized
use of media through professionalism / quality in context of
production, media literacy (capacity, skills) in context of
consumption (media education)
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MASS-MEDIA CULTURE – MEDIA MASS-CULTURE:
THE CODE OF MEDIA SOCIETY
Beyond hierarchical and industrial society?
MediaMassCommunication:
Social Media: network organism for sharing information, news, and
diverse meaning
- media as a network (community building)
- casual, instant, ubiqitious option to get connected
- producer-consumer-model becoming obsolete
- sharing the capacity/responsibility/habit for mutual understanding
in context of construction of reality: professionalism and media
competence as connected system of trust (from hierarchy to
heterarchy, from distribution of news to social balance of
communication right/duty/responsibility
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MEDIA SOCIETY – THE SOCIETY CONSTITUTING
ACCORDING THE MODEL OF MEDIA
Mediality as the Logics of Observation and Self-Reflection
as well as of the Organization of the Global Society
-
Attention, performance, dissipativity, openly constructed relation, show-effect,
news-effect, ubiquity, publicity, wide range, uniqueness, prominence etc.
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(cf. S. Krotz, A. Hepp – “mediatisation”)
-
In a globalized information-, communicationand knowledge - society context:
Understanding the reality
needs to understand media Understanding media needs to reflect the communicational structure of reality
(cf. J. Habermas / N.Luhmann)
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THEORETICAL APPROACHES UNDERSTANDING THE
RELATION OF COMMUNICATION AD MEDIA
(MEDIA) COMMUNICATION IDEA
Normative critical
approach
THEORY
Critical-emancipative
approach
INTERPRETATION
PRACTICE
ANALYSIS
Pragmatic approach
Analytical approach
MEDIA (COMMUNICATION) REALITY
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UNDERSTANDING MEDIA
COMMUNICATION AS THE NORMATIVE CONCEPT OF OBSERVATON OF MEDIA
normative-hermeneutical approach:
Interprets the principles / values of usage of media as means
or agency of cognitive, affective and active participation in
public discourse and in societal conversation in order to get
connected and synchronized with different and
professionally based interpretations of events and decisions
that are publicly supposed to be meaningful for personal and
public management of life
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UNDERSTANDING MEDIA
COMMUNICATION AS THE CRITICAL CONCEPT OF OBSERVATION OF MEDIA
critical- emancipative approach:
reflects the use of media in relation and respect to criteria of
communication (participation, interaction, involvement,
authenticity, autonomy, sovereignty, awareness) and asks
whether and under what conditions they can be fulfilled or
would be failed
(cf. Frankfurt School, TH.W. Adorno / M. Horkheimer)
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UNDERSTANDING MEDIA
COMMUNICATION AS THE EMPIRICAL CONCEPT OF MEDIA ANALYSIS
empirical- analytical approach:
Analyses the use of media observing the relation of action and
structures as a source of experience, of inspiration, of setting
agenda and as a generalized frame of reference for public
knowledge in order to get connected to the generalization of
behaviour (functional perspective)
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UNDERSTANDING MEDIA
COMMUNICATION AS THE PRAGMATIC CONCEPT OF DOING THE MEDIA
pragmatic approach:
Analyses Media in the interest of getting out how to use it as a
resource of information and what is publicly supposed to be
news in order to gain a preferred position within the social
structures of competition for (active or passive) public
attention (market) (industrial, professionalism perspective)
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UNDERSTANDING MEDIA
COMMUNICATION AS THE CONSTRUCTIVIST CONCEPT OF MEDIA STUDIES
culturalist approach:
Turn from structural / functional analysis to Cultural Studies
Instead of structuralist – a culturalist concept of Media:
Media is not the infrastructure but the use of it:
Use of Media reflects people’s search
in styling their life according to traditions, narrations, stories,
Histories, and social observation: what is majority doing –
Why? - in order to get connected to narrations, discourses,
trends, myths and conversational measures.
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UNDERSTANDING MEDIA
The Cultural Studies Thesis
Communication Model Behind the Concept of
Mediality:
 Communication is not an action by and through itself, but always
connected to the social conditions (context) of life and not only
happens through language but also through life style (way of life)
 Communication is the context of construction of meaning and
getting connected to options of sense through the exchange of
experience  Must not happen in the way of assimilation (unity-model
consensus-model), it is also the cultural model for getting aware of
difference (diversity-model, heresy-model)
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UNDERSTANDING MEDIA CHANGE
The Cultural Studies Thesis
 Social Change: The concept of understanding reality: Change does
not happen to the reality and to its observation; it happens through
observation and is the structure of reality
 Media Change (economically driven, technologically performed) is
the cultural / relational and communicational performance of social
change – it mirrors the paradigms of change (action and
observation) in mind, attitude, habit and behaviour.
 The question is not, what is the media impact (effect) in change ,
the question is, how changing discourse rules ( effect the use of
media (cf. M. Foucault)?
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MEDIA UNDER THEORETICAL CONSIDERATION
steps of complexity of conceptualizing media
HIGH
CULTURAL AGREEMENT OF SOCIAL PRACTICE
SYMBOLICALLY MEDIATED INTERACTION
MEDIA ENVIRONMENT
GRADE
of
Complexity
MEDIA ORGANISATION
MEDIA PROGRAMME
TECHNICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
LOW
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CULTURAL PERSEPCTIVES OF MEDIALITY
Media - Identity :
How to save/develop the authenticity of real self under conditions
of mediated relation?
Media - Ecology :
How to save/preserve the „nature“ of interpersonal communication
before technical alienation?
Media Competence:
How to use media as an agency of realizing individuality under
conditions of a media organized society?
Media Culture:
How does the everyday usage of media effect the culture of sociability?
Media Learning:
What attitudes are we able to develop, in order to create an societal
learning process out of it (media competence)?
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UNDERSTANDING MEDIA COMPETENCE
Competence Models in general
 Competence - a normative term:
is directed to social agreements of social and individual values
 Competence - a critical term:
is directed to distinguish between systems demands and
Lebenswelt-consciousness
 Competence – a pragmatic term:
is directed to the possibility of learning and of development.
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UNDERSTANDING COMPETENCE
where does the imagination come from?
Competence is not a natural quality, but is a category of
the cultural interpretation of human attitude in relation to
the natural, cultural, social, technical and symbolic
environment. It says that mankind is able and capable to
organize its position in relation to the environment in a
cultural manner - thus forming personality and
individuality in order to become an identifiable part of it.
cultural-anthropological interpretation
psychological interpretation
educational interpretation
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UNDERSTANDING COMPETENCE
where does the imagination come from?
 Anthropological interpretation
The Competence term represents an anthropological
interpretation of risks and chances of surviving by means
that are only given to mankind: making decision by free
will and by reflection - using means of intelligence, notion,
cognition and consciousness. Within that tradition
competence is a dimension of human performance of life
that has to be supposed to be anyone’s own. Competence
values in that frame above all others is: advantage privilege
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UNDERSTANDING COMPETENCE
where does the imagination come from?
 Psychological interpretation:
 Competence of personal life depends to certain extent from
different pre-conditions of socialisation: family structure,
personality structure, culture of relationship. Media
Competence is not a special competence, but more the
reflection of understanding one’s personal life styling
under socio-cultural frame conditions: The social climate.
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Understanding Competence
where does the imagination come from?
 Psychological interpretation:
 Values of Competence within psychological interpretation are:
authenticity, open mindedness, distinctiveness, reflexivity, critical
distance against yourself and critical closeness o others
 Development of competence needs a socio-hygienic climate – in
individual but also in societal dimensions. Non-hygienic climates lead
to strategies of simulation and compensative inscenation of performing
one’s own life or the life of the society/community/organization.
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UNDERSTANDING COMPETENCE
where does the imagination come from?
 Educational interpretation:
Competence always has been a goal for education and
pedagogy insofar educational and learning programs aims
to bring young people to the state of ability, capacity and
responsibility in all socially relevant fields of behaviour.
Education works theoretically and practically in the
direction of an idealtypical assumption of an individual
and tries to challenge the learning capacity of individuals
according to a system of socialisation.
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UNDERSTANDING COMPETENCE
MEDIA COMPETENCE IS CULTURAL GOOD
The term of competence includes aspects:
 Ability (to know what operations and how to do them in case
of – skills)
 Capacity (to have the cognitive, affective and active means and
preparedness: skills)
 Responsibility (to be conscious of what it means for oneself
and/or for others: consequences and possible effects
 Morality (to be aware of the implicated values when making
personal decisions)
 In media knowledge, media participation and media usage
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Exemplaric Back Ground Referencies
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Baacke, Dieter (1997): Medienkompetenz. Tübingen: Niemeyer Verlag
Bauer, Thomas A. (2011): In Zukunft mehr Kommunikation. Gesellschaft im Spiegel des Medienwandels. In: Koschnik,
Wolfgang J. (ed.): Focus Jahrbuch 2010, S. 1 – 83
Bourdieu, Pierre (1998): Praktische Vernunft. Zur Theorie des Handelns. Frankfurt: siuhrkamp
Bernstein, Basil: Elaborated and Restricted Codes: Their Origins and some Consequences. In: Gumperz, J.J. / Hymes, D (ed.):
The Ethnography of Communication. In: American Anthropologist. Special Publication, 66, 1964,/6, Part II, S. 55- 69
Certeau, Michel de (1989): Die Kunst des Handelns. Berlin
Chomsky, Noam (1972): Aspekte der Syntax-Theorie. Frankfurt: suhrkamp
Enzensberger, Hans M. (1970): Baukasten zu einer Theorie der Medien. In: Kursbuch 20,: suhrkamp, p. 159 – 186
Foucault, Michel (1974): Die Ordnung der Dinge. Eine Archäologie der Humanwissenschaften. Frankfurt: suhrkamp
Hall, Stuart Hall, Stuart.(1993): Encoding, Decoding. In: During, S.: The Cultural Studies Reader. London: Routledge
Habermas, Jürgen Habermas, Jürgen (1981): Thorie des kommunikativen Handelns (1981): Bd 1: Handlungsrealität und
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Horkheimer, Max / Adorno, Theodor W. (1969 / 2003): Dialektik der Aufklärung. Philosophische Fragmente. Frankfurt: Fischer
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Mead, George Herbert (1973): Geist, Identität und Gesellschaft Frankfurt: suhrkam
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Schütz, Alfred / Luckmann, Thomas 1984) : Strukturen der Lebenswelt. Bd 2. Frankfurt/M.: suhrkamp
2011-11-09
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