Publication details

From TV to other screens and back: transformation of TV viewership in context of ‘media ensembles’ concept

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Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
Description The television homes and domestic audiences have changed – with multiplication of media we witness significant shifts in audiences’ practices. The shifts are mainly described with emphasize on convergent and fragmented character of media practices and are usually captured with focus on particular media objects / platforms / agency. However, how to approach the audiences’ practices as a complex phenomena, not reduced to one particular facet? I follow this question and present an outcome from the research project ‘New and old media in everyday life: media audiences at the time of transforming media uses’: a concept of ‘media ensembles’. The concept is based on Giddens’ theory of structuration and develops the tradition of domestication research with its accent on the double articulation of media and dialectic relation between public and domestic contexts: it is based on a notion that audiences construct their media-related practices as changeable and negotiated system that fulfills their socially / culturally conditioned needs and that re-creates boundaries between public and private spaces. I will explicate the concept on an analysis of transformation of TV viewership of current Czech viewers. When approached as part of media ensembles, their TV related practices can be analysed both in relation to the content curation / reception and uses of media objects. The analysis suggests that role of TV is strongly influenced by position of other domestic media and that the viewership in studied homes (1) is increasingly decentralized in terms of used objects, (2) experienced as fragmented in terms of particular practices (‘watching TV’ is replaced by ‘watching TV shows’, ‘watching news’ etc.), and (3) interestingly de-nationalized (e.g. nation-wide TV as the source of content is being substituted by international online sources). The paper is based on qualitative, ethnographically oriented research conducted in 2012–2013 on sample of 20 homes.
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