[csaa-forum] Peter Lunt, 'Beyond Participation?' & 'Erving Goffman', USYD 5 & 8 Sept 17

Gerard Goggin gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au
Mon Sep 4 09:10:59 ACST 2017

Media @ Sydney is delighted to present two excellent seminars by Professor Peter Lunt (Leicester).

Beyond Participation? The Media and Political Autonomy<https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/beyond-participation-the-media-and-political-autonomy-tickets-37180306297>
Wed 5 Sept 2017, 4-.5.30pm
Common Room, Level 4, John Woolley Building, USYD<http://sydney.edu.au/arts/about/maps.shtml?locationID=A20>
Presented with Sydney Democracy Network (SDN)

The Continuing Fascination with Erving Goffman<https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-continuing-fascination-with-erving-goffman-presentation-face-in-online-interaction-tickets-37180642302>
Fri 8 Sept 2017, 3-4.30pm
MECO Seminar Room S226
Level 2, John Woolley Building, USYD<http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/about/seminars.shtml>

All welcome - RSVPs essential.

About the speaker: Peter Lunt is a professor of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, UK. His research interests include audience research, media regulation, social theory and the media and consumption research.
He has written a number of books including Talk on Television and Media Regulation (both with Sonia Livingstone) and is currently working on a book for Polity Press: Goffman and the Media.

Full details of the seminars:

Beyond Participation? The Media and Political Autonomy (Wed 5 Sept, 4pm)
The possibility of political participation needs to be secured within a legal framework that protects and nurtures the enactment of the principle of autonomy. The principle of autonomy must have priority over any objective of creating unlimited or uncircumscribed participation. (Held, Models of Democracy, 2006: 274)

David Held, towards the end of his book Models of Democracy tantalizingly offers the idea of political autonomy as having the potential to overcome acknowledged problems in participatory and deliberative theories of democracy. Recent empirical studies echo Held’s arguments and illustrate how difficult it is to link participation in media to participation in politics. Held’s association with Reflexive Modernity in sociology informed his account of autonomy suggesting that individuals and institutions might develop as complementary reflexive forms that enable autonomy and give it a central role in social systems including politics. In parallel, the idea of political autonomy has been taken up in political theory associated with the revival of republican ideals and the politics of recognition.

This paper reflects on the potential of the idea of autonomy for understanding the relation between media and democracy. The political philosophy literature on autonomy is probed for assumptions about individuals against a background of relational accounts of the self. This analysis is complemented by an examination of recent attempts by European Public Service Broadcasters to develop innovative forms of public engagement in and through media as potential examples of mediated political autonomy. Similarly, recent political TV programming where the public contest with politicians as part of the recent UK Brexit referendum are also considered as a clash between the performance of power and citizenship. The paper ends with reflections on the implications for accounts of political subjectivity and the relation between media in democracy.

The Continuing Fascination with Erving Goffman (Fri 8 Sept, 3pm)
Erving Goffman’s work has always been influential in media and communication and is experiencing something of a revival in studies of self-presentation and face in social media. Intriguingly, key concepts from Goffman’s analysis of social life as drama, ritual and game developed to understand social interactions often between strangers in the cities and suburbs of mid twentieth century US are providing rich resources for the analysis of contemporary digitally mediated social interaction. Face, impression management, front and backstage, communication frameworks, frames, footing and self-presentation appear as relevant as they ever were, providing a nuanced account of the forms, contexts, ethics and realized identities of social interaction.

The deployment of Goffman’s ideas goes beyond their undoubted value as sensitising concepts to reflect his broader theoretical interests and concerns, which are illustrated through two examples of the appropriation of Goffman’s work. The first examines the shift in the study of social media from the emphasis on control of self-presentation to the analysis of facework online. The second responds to Hogan’s critique of Goffman’s self-presentation in relation to Facebook, which is contrasted to the idea of the curation of the self. An alternative, based on Goffman’s Gender Advertisements distinguishes the genre conventions of portraiture and pictures and suggests an analysis of posts as depictions of mis-en-scene rather than portraits of self-presentation.
From these considerations, I suggest that the continuing relevance of Goffman’s work is not reducible to his having coined some evocative concepts but reflects the contemporary resonance of his (implicit) social theory. His roots in Simmel, pragmatic principles from James and Mead, a reading of Durkheim’s sociology of law that links ritual to human rights, his view of the social self and account of the rationalizing social tendencies of cultural forms make his work relevant to contemporary media life.

Media @ Sydney<http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/about/seminars.shtml> is presented by the Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney<http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/>. For more details contact Dr Karina Aveyard: karina.aveyard at sydney.edu.au

Gerard Goggin
ARC Future Fellow
Professor of Media and Communications
Department of Media and Communications
University of Sydney

e: gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au<mailto:gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au>
p:  +61 2 9114 1218
m: +61 428 66 88 24
w: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/staff/gerard_goggin.shtml

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