Beiträge zur Kulturforschung


111. Jahrgang, 2/2015

Persistenz und Rekombination

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Klaus Schönberger


The essay is concerned with the relation of digital media technique, actors and socio-cultural change. Starting from the author’s research projects about digital communication the article is aimed at contributing to the theory of socio-cultural change. Moreover, the implications of these theoretical considerations for the ethnographic approach are discussed in a more general sense. The argumentation is developed in five steps: it departs from the multimedia or new media hype of the 1990s, which has shaped the speaking about media usages in a technic-deterministic way (1). What follows is a categorical differentiation of various dimensions of socio-cultural change (2) as well as a discussion of the theoretical range of these categorial considerations (3). For this purpose it seems reasonable to distinguish meta-processes of socio-cultural change from the mode of change in general. The terms enabling-potential as well as persistence and recombination are central for characterizing this mode of change. In sum, this article suggests an approach of analyzing change and new phenomenons on the basis of already existing strategies and persistent practices of everyday life (4). These theoretical considerations are relevant both for a subject-specific (empirical) research and for the conceptualization of society in a wider sense (5).

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