Journalism, representation and the public sphere

Title chapter:Beyond space and place. The challenge of urban space to urban media studies
Author:Simone Tosoni
Keywords: Media-related practices, audience studies, ethnographic approach, relational space, phenomenological space
Abstract:Within Urban Media Studies, current research on media practices in urban space is by and large informed by a phenomenological conceptualization of space directly derived from traditional audience studies of the 1990s. This conceptualization has as its linchpin the distinction between space as abstract location, and place as space endowed with symbolic meanings and affections through practices of place-making. This approach has the merit of going beyond deterministic hypotheses of media-related placelessness and clarifying how specific media-related practices can contribute to fostering people's attachment to places and to endowing them with symbolic meanings. Yet, as shown through a discussion of an original case study on "captive audience positions" (situations in which we are somehow forcedly put in the position "to audience" a media spectacle), this conceptualization seems less adequate to addressing the relationship mutually shaping space and practices enacted in urban space, whether media-related or not. These limitations could be overcome by extending the phenomenological conceptualization of space into a fully fledged relational one.
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