Media, Technology & Culture 03 (2nd Edition): Domesticated Technologies

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By Scott Rodgers. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

By now, you will have noticed we are not spending much if any time trying to understand media technologies in isolation. Instead, we have been and will keep putting media technologies into the settings on which they depend as well as help shape. One prominent academic concept for scholars seeking to understand media technologies in such settings is that of ‘domestication’. This refers to how media technologies – and really technologies in general – become more and more adapted to fit into everyday life. Sure, when media technologies are new, they tend to be seen as disruptive or threatening. But in time, they usually become just another ‘appliance’ used in our everyday existence, something utterly unremarkable, ordinary, even boring. In this episode, we consider this by exploring how the phonograph and early radio were intimately incorporated into social practices, structures and places, in the process shaping the nature of the media technologies themselves. Along the way, we will also consider the more recent arrival of newer digital technologies, such as smart speaker assistants and streaming services based on recommendation systems. Is a concept like domestication fit for purpose when it comes to understanding ubiquitous, algorithmically- and data-driven digital media technologies?

Thinkers Discussed: Martin Heidegger (briefly); Roger Silverstone (Television and Everyday Life / Domesticating Domestication); Jo Helle-Valle and Dag Slettemeås (ICTs, Domestication and Language-games); Lisa Gitelman (Always Already New); Alexander G. Weheliye (Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity); Shaun Moores (Media and Everyday Life in Modern Society); Stuart Hall (Encoding and Decoding); Paddy Scannell (Radio, Television and Modern Life); Michel Foucault (briefly); Saba Rebecca Brause and Grant Blank (Externalized Domestication: Smart Speaker Assistants, Networks and Domestication Theory); Ignacio Siles Johan Espinoza-Rojas, Adrián Naranjo, and María Fernanda Tristán (The Mutual Domestication of Users and Algorithmic Recommendations on Netflix).

18 episodes