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The Notion Of Domestication Essay

1554 words - 6 pages

In order to understand media we must see it as a persistent, permeating, and pervading concept and institution which allows technologies to become part of everyday life, with the notion of Domestication (Silverstone et al. 1992) as a quintessential example of the trends of media following a sequential development towards modernity. Domestication of media is an ongoing process, which seeks to redefine the demarcation between man and technology, encompassing notions of consumption, recontextualisation of the private and public spheres, moral economy, and a new dimension to the multifaceted nature of communication.

Domestication as a theory was introduced by academics who linked Domestication in terms of cultural sociology and media use in order to make sense of the unprecedented adoption and usage of media by households during the late twentieth and early twenty first century. They essentially saw media as being “tamed” by its users. Silverstone saw Domestication of media as an inevitable evolution brought upon by “technological determinism” (Silverstone et al. 1992), where he defines this Domestication as a “process of consumption in which consumption is linked to invention and design, and to the public framing of technologies as symbolic objects of value and desire” (Silverstone, 2006; pg 232). Silverstone also drew upon Marshal McLuhan’s notion that media were in fact “extensions of man” (McLuhan, 1964), a tool of humanity, a concept inherently ingrained into our modern technology engrossed society. Domestication seeks to account for the transformation of media “in its appropriation into the household” (Silverstone, 2006; pg 232), making sense of the mediation that occurs between the private and public spheres, and the increasingly dependant interrelationship of society and technology. The notion of Domestication emerged in an epoch which was just beginning to feel the full effects of technology on their lives on both microcosmic and macrocosmic levels, with technology evolving to meet the needs of society.

domestication as a process of consumption:
Domestication as “a process of consumption” (Silverstone 2006, P232) demonstrates the way in which our contemporary society view media as an extension of oneself. We are no longer able to escape media in our household; if we attempt not to partake in this consumption we are consumed by it instead, unconsciously.

The work of Leslie Haddon, “Domestication and Mobile Telephony”, explores the “interrelationship between the home and the rest of everyday life” through a study of mobile telephony (Haddon, 2009 P7).

Contemporary society is enraptured by modern media. Its accessibility as a domesticated platform has been made easier through new invention and design, such as the era of smartphones which enable us to constantly be participating in, immersed in, and engaging with media as a culture. This transformation of media allows for the new notion of the public to be conceived, where institutions such...

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