9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN18 Sociology of Communications and Media Research

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 The Impact of Mass Media and Network Communication on Contemporary Social Theory Building AA, AA.329

Detemporalization and Despatialization - The Radical Transformation of Time and Space by New Media in Globalization

Time and space are supposed to lie at the heart of those sciences which aim at analyzing the social. However, this presupposition about social sciences and about sociology in particular disappoints. I argue that social sciences have historically advanced a uni-dimensional and therefore restricted view on time and space. The crucial points are consequently two. First, due to this uni-dimensional perspective, postmodern research on globalization and media suffers from a spatial bias neglecting temporal aspects. Second, this is all the more intolerable since time and space have been experiencing radical transformations by globalization. They have become ever more significant dimensions.

To confront these two points, I propose the interconnected concepts of detemporalization and despatialization. They elaborate the interdetermining processes which emancipate time and space from former linkages (e.g. culture) by reason of globalization. They analyze the impact of globalization on social concepts and practices of time and space. They look at how time-space practices are being transmogrified by external factors (e.g. by global flows), but more importantly how they are reconfigurated from within. They centre on the striking intensification of typically modern processes such as rising acceleration and spatial shrinking as well as on typically postmodern processes of increasing desynchronization, fragmentation and multiplication of time and space. They implicate physical, but more notably mediated mobility in time and in space.

Particular focus will thus be addressed on the causality of new media. Detemporalization and despatialization examine how new media transcend tempo-spatial limitations such as progressive duration and geographical distance. On the other side, the concepts also imply complementary retemporalization and respatialization which grasp the parallel/simultaneous use of new media for the creation of new confined borders (e.g. nationalist, localist, fundamentalist, ethnical). Thereby, the involvement in forming new hybrid identities one the one hand and new reactionary identities on the other hand shall be explored. Further emphasis lies on the reciprocal permeation of private and public space ? and time ? by the omnipresence of new media and by the potential omnipresence of the individual facilitated by new media: the incessant recipient as globalization?s archetype.