CONNECTION OR DISCONNECTION by wanghonghx

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									   CONNECTION OR
   DISCONNECTION?
  TRACKING THE MEDIATED PUBLIC
    SPHERE IN EVERYDAY LIFE

NICK COULDRY AND TIM MARKHAM, LSE
CONNECTION OR DISCONNECTION?
Precedents?
   1. public sphere theory (Habermas, 1989, 1996):
        - original: bounded site of public deliberation
        - later: network of differentiated spaces (from informal discussion
        to formal deliberation)

   2. Dahlgren (2003) on the ‘circuit’ of ‘civic culture’:
        - critical of limitations of deliberative democracy theory
        - 6 dimensions/ moments to circuit: not just discussion but also
        values, affinity, knowledge, practices, identities

   3. What range of sites / types of linkage between practices should we
   examine when the mediated public sphere is embedded in everyday life?
CONNECTION OR DISCONNECTION?
‘Media Consumption and the Future of Public Connection’
Funded under ESRC/ AHRB Cultures of Consumption Programme Oct03-Mar06

Methods: Diaries (supplemented by pre- and post-interviews, focus groups) + survey

Diarists sample (37) recruited 2004
   Gender: close to 50/50 Male/ female
   Age: overall age balance good 18-69 (12 diarists  30; 12 diarists 30-50; 13 diarists
     50). But men 30-50 difficult to recruit so men  50 overrepresented overall
   Class: AB overrepresented, D difficult to recruit, C and E close to UK population %.
   Diary completion (ie 10-12 weeks): lower from class Es and M/F aged 30-50. But
    evened out if look at substantial completion (all but one diarist)
   Ethnicity: 9 non-white out of 37 (5 Afro-Caribbean, 3 south Asian, 1 mixed ethnicity)
   Media Access: balance comparable to UK averages at time (changing fast)
   6 Regions: poor inner city London; mid-income suburban London; poor urban South
    England; 2 mid-high income North England suburbs; mixed-income rural Midlands

Diary format (diaries written Feb04 – Aug04)
Majority written (email, typed, handwritten) + 5 used audio tape
CONNECTION OR DISCONNECTION?
Aim: to test out 2 common assumptions
    1. existence of shared orientation to ‘public’ world (‘public connection’)
    2. public connection sustained by media consumption

Mediated public connection (media consumption patterns + public orientation)
   Basic heterogeneity
   Diarists where media connection stronger
   Diarists where public connection stronger
   Diarists for whom neither media nor world of public issues salient
   Negative factors: disillusion/distance/alternative values > lack of time for
    media/ media access; lack of subjective efficacy in political matters may be
    compensated by habit of mediated public connection

Underlying orientation frames: including family, social, work, education,
    religion + individual routine. Social/family frame (not individualisation) most
    likely counter-weight to mediated public connection.
CONNECTION OR DISCONNECTION?
TALK
 Where: evening meal, drinks with friends, work
  (casual chat, lunchbreak discussions), incidental
 Exclusions: avoiding ‘doom & gloom’ and sensitive
  issues; interweaving
 Standard gendered talk about news
 Debate and disagreement
 Talk about talk
 Lack of satisfying discursive context
 Talk and Action: the missing link
CONNECTION OR DISCONNECTION?
 “Well, there’s a lot of sport talked about you know and I’m not
 particularly sporty so I can’t involve myself too much with that and a lot
 of people talk about holidays. I find that type of talk very shallow. I
 tend to back off a bit, it’s not deep enough for me. I don’t have great,
 I’m not really endowed with great wisdom or original thought or even
 much of a wordsmith really but I do find certain subjects a bit shallow.”
 Diarist 27 (retired printer, suburb of northern city)

 “I didn’t used to discuss country living as much at work because they
 were quite city, town oriented people. I didn’t talk about going
 hunting. I felt quite bad about myself that I wasn’t flying the flag but I
 just thought I won’t go there. It’s a huge big debate. The person I sit
 near is very vegetarian and she’s not going to understand what I’m
 trying to say and I like her but I don’t want to fall out with her, I just
 won’t go there.”
 Diarist 38 (woman, 47, senior nursing officer, rural Midlands)
CONNECTION OR DISCONNECTION?
CONCLUSION:

Disconnections between talk situations, between talk/ action?

“We recently, this last September we did our usual annual national user group
conference and [name of boss] did a very sort of rousing speech and [name]
who’s chair of the national user group got up, very rousing speech saying write
to your MPs, you’ve got to write to your MPs, get involved, you know, show
support. If you want to choose your system, if you want control over . .. . what
you do on your day-to-day, write. And a lot of people are saying, well you know
it’s going to happen anyway, you know what’s the point and a lot of people like,
yes, I’ve written to my MP and I’m gonna go see him and it’s very interesting
how seeing whether people believe that you can affect what’s going to happen
or whether it’s going to happen anyway despite what you think.”

Diarist 24/Interview 2 (woman, aged 27, marketing executive, Northern suburb)

								
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