Ben O'Loughlin and Andrew Hoskins will give the first presentation of their 'new mass' theory at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention in San Diego on 1 April 2012. They will present on the panel, 'Media Coverage of Crisis' at 4pm, Hospitality Suite 1501. Details of their paper are below.
Return of the Mass: Structures of Attention, Mediatized Sociality, and Why it Matters for IR
The mediatization of the social transforms the ‘connectedness’ of individuals, groups and societies. Mediatization refers to the manner in which our perceptions, relationships and institutions increasingly inhabit and are shaped by media and technologies, becoming reconfigured such that the logics of contemporary media (immediacy, visuality, connectivity) transform the processes we know as perceptions, relationships and institutions. It is not that social relations are necessarily fragmenting or integrating, as sometimes argued in standard accounts of global politics and society. Instead, the experience of individuals in the early 21st century is marked by shifting senses of connectivity and proximity which lead to a new sense of relating to social entities beyond the self. Consequently, new socialities emerge, featuring a simultaneous density and diffusion of relations. These socialities constitute what we call the new mass. Empirically, the effects can be seen in the circulation of news and other media content, the renewal and hybridity of media institutions and systems, and changing public conceptions of “the mainstream”. This paper begins to map the new mass by exploring how processes of authority, legitimacy and reflexivity operate around a series of international crises.