Advertisement

Cosmopolitanism on Demand? Television and the Narrowing of Mediated Social Connection

  • Paul Atkinson
  • Rebecca Strating
Chapter

Abstract

Cosmopolitanism requires individuals to imagine themselves not just as members of local and national groups but as part of a global and, to some degree, abstract “community” of strangers. In doing so, it raises questions about how we can communicate with and imagine others beyond the horizon of local community or even the nation state (James 1996). Theorising the formation of cosmopolitan identities requires examining how we engage with, create, and reify this community of strangers through global publics—those public forums and spaces in which this attachment to others is made manifest—and the manner by which they are mediated by technologies of communication.

We investigate specifically the role of on-demand television in shaping cosmopolitan publics and argue that two contrary principles are operative. Television provides the basis for a heightened cosmopolitan awareness that differs from classical cosmopolitanism insofar as there is the capacity to “know” others beyond immediate community and national boundaries. However, on-demand television has the potential to limit engagement and global awareness through the promotion of individually tailored patterns of consumption. On-demand television operates in a media environment in which there is a surfeit of content and this allows individuals to create their own programming schedules based on what is familiar. There is a much greater capacity to preclude content that does not correspond with existing tastes and the already known, and by doing so can lead to disengagement from national and cosmopolitan debates.

Keywords

Digital Television Broadcast Television Programming Schedule Global Awareness News Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Bibliography

  1. Anderson, Benedict. 2006. Imagined communities, Revth edn. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Apparadurai, Arjun. 1996. Modernity at large. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  3. Appiah, Kwame Anthony. 1996. Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in the world of strangers. New York/London: W.W. Norton Company.Google Scholar
  4. Beck, Ulrich. 2008. Cosmopolitan vision. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  5. Chouliaraki, Lilie. 2013. Mediating vulnerability: Cosmopolitanism and the public sphere. Media, Culture and Society 35(1): 105–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Corner, John. 1999. Critical ideas in television studies. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  7. Couldry, Nick, Sonia Livingstone, and Tim Markham. 2007. Media consumption and public engagement: Beyond the presumption of attention. Houndmills/New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  8. Curtin, Michael. 2009. Matrix Media. In Television studies after TV: Understanding television in the post-broadcast era, eds. Graeme Turner, and Jinna Tay, 9–19. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  9. Dencik, Lena. 2013. Alternative news sites and the complexities of ‘space’. New Media and Society 15(8): 1207–1233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gentikow, Barbara. 2010. Television use in new media environments. In Relocating television: Television in the digital context, ed. Jostein Gripsrud, 141–155. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Gripsrud, Jostein. 2010. Television in the digital public sphere. In Relocating television: Television in the digital context, ed. Jostein Gripsrud, 3–26. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Gurevitch, Michael, Stephen Coleman, and Jay G. Blumler. 2009. The end of television? Its impact on the world (so far): Political communication—old and new media relationships. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 625: 164–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hannerz, Ulf. 1990. Cosmopolitans and locals in world culture. Theory, Culture and Society 7: 237–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hartley, John. 2009. Less popular but more democratic? In Television studies after TV: Understanding television in the post-broadcast era, eds. Graeme Turner, and Jinna Tay, 20–30. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  15. Jacobs, Jason. 2011. Television interrupted: Pollution or aesthetic? In Television as digital media, eds. James Bennett, and Niki Strange, 255–280. Durham/London: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jenner, Mareike. 2014. Is this TVIV? On netflix, TVIII and binge-watching. New Media & Society 7: 1–17.Google Scholar
  17. Levine, Elana. 2011. Teaching the politics of television culture in a ‘post-television’ era. Cinema Journal 50(4): 177–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Marshall, P. David. 2009. Screens: Television’s dispersed ‘broadcast’. In Television studies after TV: Understanding television in the post-broadcast era, eds. Graeme Turner, and Jinna Tay, 41–50. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  19. Manovich, Lev. 2001. The language of new media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  20. Moe, Hallvard. 2008. Dissemination and dialogue in the public sphere: A case for public service media online. Media, Culture & Society 30(3): 319–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nussbaum, Martha. 2006. Patriotism and cosmopolitanism. In For love of country: Debating the limits of patriotism, eds. Martha Nussbaum et al., 2–20. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  22. Orgad, Shani. 2012. Media representations and the global imagination. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  23. Robbins, Bruce. 1998. Actually existing cosmopolitanism. In Cosmopolitics: Thinking and feeling beyond the nation, eds. Pheng Cheah, and Bruce Robbins, 1–19. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  24. Robertson, Alexa. 2010. Mediated cosmopolitanism: The world of television news. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  25. Szerszynski, Bronislaw, and John Urry. 2002. Cultures of cosmopolitanism. The Sociological Review 50(4): 461–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Turner, Graeme. 2009. Television and the nation: Does this matter any more? In Television studies after TV: Understanding television in the post-broadcast era, eds. Graeme Turner, and Jinna Tay, 54–64. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  27. Webster, James G., and Thomas B. Ksiazek. 2012. The dynamics of audience fragmentation: Public attention in an age of digital media. Journal of Communication 62(1): 39–56.Google Scholar
  28. Williams, Raymond. 1990. Television: Technology and cultural form, 2nd edn. Ederyn Williams. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Atkinson
    • 1
  • Rebecca Strating
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and La Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations