How do people in different social situations use different kind of media? And how do they contribute to the creation of public spheres and social cohesion?
The project, which is a Hamburg subproject of the Forschungsinstituts gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt
(FGZ, Research Institute Social Cohesion), uses various empirical data to determine how subgroups of society relate to each other in terms of communication. Thus, it is possible to identify communication and media-related processes of social integration and fragmentation. Furthermore, we reflect on the findings from a media law perspective and examine them with regard to their consequences for (constitutional) media law and media policy.
The project is based on the assumption that the way people use different communication media and thereby relate to different publics, groups and individuals is a decisive factor in the construction of social cohesion. Considering the permeable borders between public and private communication, the idea of a person's social integration being reflected in his or her personal networks, on the one hand, and his or her participation in public communication through the reception of mass media, on the other hand, is outdated. If we want to understand the contribution of individual media users to the construction of social cohesion in today's media environment, we need a more differentiated analysis of the practices by which individuals relate to different public spheres. The analysis of individual "repertoires of public connection" can also serve as a conceptual bridge to the description of public spheres and the analysis of their cohesion.
Thus, the project will focus particularly on (media-related) practices and the interwoven networks of relationships as decisive factors that create social cohesion. It aims to contribute to a better understanding of social cohesion, both in terms of conceptual theory and empirical analysis.