Universität Mannheim / PhilFak / PK Globalisierung / english / The Graduate Program / The Project / Focus on Media and Communication Studies

Focus on Media and Communication Studies

Globalization is significantly based on enhanced, accelerated, and deepened forms of mediated communication. On the one hand, this applies to political and economic formations of the global such as global institutions, movements, campaigns and markets that would be unimaginable without globalized forms of interpersonal as well as mass communication. On the other hand, the significance of mediated communication appears especially with regard to cultural formations such as the construction of collective identities. This refers to perceptions of membership in certain collectives, to feelings of solidarity with members of such collectives, but also to demarcations from other collectives as well as to concepts of the enemy.

Collective identities do not simply exist; they gain social relevance and temporal stability only through perpetual communication in private and public space. Processes of collective identification are in large part mediated communication processes. Thus, in the context of the Graduate Program "Formations of the Global" the central question of the focus "Media and Communication Studies" is to what extent these imagined communities adopt a transboundary character and which communication processes promote or constrain transboundary identification. The scope of processes of communication and identification under scrutiny can range from specific groups (e.g. diasporic or migrant communities), over defined cultural or political spaces (e.g. Europe, Arab World, etc.) to global networks (e.g. globally distributed mass media, global political movements). The analysis comprises the production of mediated communication - e.g. in the context of global media events such as the Olympic Games, summits, or wars - as well as globalized media products and their reception by and effect on particular groups of users.

Possible Dissertation Topics:

  • transnational forms of journalism, PR, promotion and entertainment
  • International and intercultural comparisons of mediated constructions of in-groups and out-groups
  • development of transnational media publicities due to online and offline media
  • transnational media scandals, media hysteria, media hypes etc.
  • the role of global media events as focal points of transnational collective identification
  • the potential for collective identification inherent in the specific media and communication repertoires of particular populations