Cultural diversity and new media - their interaction as an element of European integration: Elaborating a European research network
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The paper first summarises the background of the genesis and the subsequent development of the European research network “cultural diversity and new media” (CULTMEDIA). Then it gives an introduction into the leading questions and basic approaches of its research programme. The three main strategic objectives addressed by CULTMEDIA are 1.) to update the scientific debate concerning the relationship of culture and media, 2.) to research the interactions between cultural diversity and new media, and 3.) to discuss their role as an element of European integration. They are subsequently tackled in the following chapters which outline how CULTMEDIA’s research activities could be – and, meanwhile, after some years of network activities, have been elaborated on three levels, the “abstract-conceptional”, the “discursive-comparative”, and the “synthetic-conciliar” level of research. Chapter 4 deals above all with the notions of culture, technology and communication in order to establish an analytical framework for the assessment of the civilizational importance of the emerging ubiquitous system of computer-mediated communication. Chapter 5 concentrates on the identification of the four central fields of the network’s research: “privacy and the public sphere” (for the socio-political dimension of the subject), “identity and the community” (for its social-cultural dimension), “knowledge and the economy” (for its socio-economic dimension), and (more as a cross-sectional topic) “security/insecurity and trust”. Chapter 6 considers the theoretical approach of CULTMEDIA while discussing the interdependencies and exchange relations of cultural diversity and new media regarding their importance, consequences and meaning for the process of European integration. Finally, the paper gives an outlook describing ongoing pursuits and wishes for the near future that reflect the present phase of the network’s consolidation.
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