Communication, Media and Politics: Contradictions and Pretensions on Human 'Destiny'

Monday, 11 July 2016: 18:00
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Christiana CONSTANTOPOULOU, Department of Sociology, Panteion University, Athens, Greece
The contemporary (globalized) society is characterized by profound contradictions (due to the absence of adequacy between social representations –essentially conveyed by media discourse- and the social being).  Principles born together with the sovereign national states (or “the” social state) guaranteeing elementary “human rights” are still given as conductive lights of the contemporary world, although world “governance” is  nowadays intimately attached to the demands of economic interests (conducing to the abolition of many rights in the “labor market”). Social inequalities increase on “local” as well as on “global” level. When the global level is involved, the problems include practically wars, “economic crisis”, immigration (from South to North and from East to West) etc.

Nevertheless, although a “plenitude” of information can be possibly given by the media, the “global citizen” is captured 1) by the modern myths (considering “irrational” any discourse which differs from a technocratic point of view, which monopolizes the “correct” knowledge) 2) by the dominant rather “figural” than “discursive” way of signifying the world. Cultural industries contribute to this everyday life “prosperity” based on the “western way of life” which apparently cannot include any political thought related to the criticism of contemporary inequalities (although the consumption of products showing “prestige” does not really signify to be part of the “rich class”, as remarked years ago Adorno and Horkheimer). 

If Sociology could become (as wished by Ezra Park) a reportage of very good quality, it could make redefine some contemporary constitutive myths which exclude any “different” thought