Christoph Bareither

Media of the everyday. The contribution of European ethnology to the field of media and digital anthropology


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Digital media have become an integral part of everyday life. Mediarelated research within European ethnology is characterized by the fact that it penetrates the interconnections of media and everyday life ethnographically. In order to substantiate this competence, the article outlines a series of conceptual approaches that all help to better understand and ethnographically explore the everydayness of media. This includes an eye for media practices and the interwoven, incorporated knowledge; the analysis of the practice potentials and practice restrictions inscribed in media (affordances); access to media infrastructure processes; the interplay of encoding and decoding; and, last but not least, the ethnographic understanding of sensory and emotional processes in relation to media. In summary, these concepts provide a discipline-specific perspective on ‘media of the everyday’ that allows one to emphasize and make productive the specific contribution of European ethnology to the transdisciplinary field of media and digital anthropology.

digital media, everyday life, media practices, affordances, infrastructures, encoding/decoding, emotions