From media anthropology to anthropomediality

Othold, Tim; Voss, Christiane

Media anthropology is a new and interdisciplinary field of research with very different subjects and methods that seems to be already heavily informed by a comparatively narrow understanding of media as mass media (e.g. TV, Internet, social web, etc.). Therefore, most theories in this field, at least implicitly, employ a hierarchical and often dichotomic preconception of the two poles of media-human relations, by analysing the operationalities and ontologies of the human and the media independently from one another. This article deviates from this line of thought by advocating an expanded, symmetrical and relational understanding of the terms media and human, taking them as always already intermingled facets of a broader dynamic configuration. Starting from a consideration of the historically powerful, yet overlooked media of the so-called habitat diorama, the heuristic concept of “anthropomediality” is to be developed. Eventually, this relational approach may open up a new, interesting field for interrogation of (media-)anthropological analysis in general.

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Othold, Tim / Voss, Christiane: From media anthropology to anthropomediality. 2017.

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