The research network Communicative Figurations is a joint initiative of the Universities of Bremen and Hamburg with the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) and the Institute for Information Management (ifib) in Bremen as well as the Law Faculty, the Faculty for the Humanities, the Faculty for Economics and Social Sciences, the Research Center for Media and Communication (RCMC), the Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research (HBI) and the Research Centre for Media History (FMG) in Hamburg.
On a daily basis, we experience that the change of culture and society are connected with the change of media communication. The constant reachability via mobile phone, email and information services changes the experience of time of individuals. Social relationships are reconfigured by various social web platforms. Whole social fields are recomposed when education is no longer only experienced by a direct counterpart but is primarily mediated or when politics is interwoven with media-oriented acts and practices. Media themselves are changing in relation to their content and technologies and along with it our whole media environment. Thereby we are not faced with short-term but long-term changes, that is, the transformation of the construction of socio-cultural realities. Which significance does the change of media and communication have for culture and society? Based on the expertise of distinct social sciences, humane disciplines and by inclusion of media-related computer science we respond to this question with a theoretically and empirically substantiated answer.
Recent studies on media change, communicative construction and mediatization have demonstrated that it is not simply the effect of particular media content or a single medium that change the world. It is rather the increasing establishment of technical communication media altogether that leads to a transformation. Accordingly, understanding the significance of media for the transformation of socio-cultural realities can only be achieved when capturing transmedial communicative interweaving – what we designate as “communicative figurations”. The aim of the research network of the Universities of Bremen and Hamburg is to achieve this.