Mediatization can be described as the dependency between media communication and sociocultural change, in which the media are becoming increasingly powerful (Hepp, 2013). Mediatization, even as a field of study, involves a multidirectional, often interdisciplinary investigation. The principal currents of thought about mediatization affect two approaches; the first is described as institutional, and the second is constructivist. The institutional approach is focused mainly on media logic. It is applied as a general concern affecting the changes the media can evoke in different fields and contexts. In contrast, the constructivist involves practical steps that media avail to users utilizing contexts and contents. (Altheide, 1995).

Mediatization and Applications

The central importance of media in culture and society is the fundamental idea of mediatization identified as a concept or theory, or both (Hjarvard, 2013). Mediatization is perceived and analyzed as a multidimensional process including various forms of media‐related trans-formations. These are conditioned in time, space, technology, and different human activity field. Ekstöm et al. (2016) admit that mediatization is the long‐term transformation of sociocultural practices manifested in an increased spread of media technologies, institutions, and cultural forms as well as in their societal implications. Similarly, Krotz (2007) considers mediatization as a longitudinal but non‐linear change; that is, it has direction and sequences that have been unknown, thus taking the form of a meta‐process that describes theoretically specific conditions of actual change. The change pertains to media communication, its historical developments, and the rise of new structures and new meanings of media. Quantitative and qualitative facets of mediatization are often highlighted in mediatization studies which take both quantitative and qualitative approaches. As a result of this (meta)process, media communication is becoming increasingly complex and takes place more often; it also covers a growing number of topics and lasts longer. The quantitative facet of mediatization is related to media saturation, that is, the scope in which time and space—as results of the mediatization process—are inflated with media technology (Hjarvard, 2008). On the other hand, the qualitative approach asks questions about how this spread of mediated communication makes a difference in our social construction of reality (Hepp, 2012). These approaches also investigate the alterations of human relationships and other social activities constructed using media. Mediatization has become one of media and communication studies' most prominent theoretical concepts (Curran & Park, 2000; Couldry, 2012).

The term “mediatization” emerged in public and among scholars, along with the media transformation already described, in the 1990s. People observed that media were becoming more and more relevant for human activities, social relations, and other areas of life (Lundby, 2014). Thus, mediatization is a concept of the reconstructive analysis of today’s media-related transformations, together with respective social changes in everyday life, culture, and society. The idea of mediatization is not media-centric but tries to reconstruct what has happened from the perspective of the communicating individuals and other social actors. However, it may also serve as a framework for conducting and organizing concrete research.


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Hepp, A. (2013). Cultures of mediatization. Cambridge, England: Polity Press.

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Hjarvard, S. (2013). The mediatization of culture and society. London: Routledge.

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Lundby, K. (2014). Handbook Mediatization of Communication. Berlin: De Gruyter.