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Existential Media: Toward a Theorization of Digital Thrownness
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, JMK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9615-237X
2017 (English)In: New Media and Society, ISSN 1461-4448, E-ISSN 1461-7315, Vol. 19, no 1, 96-110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our digitally enforced lifeworld is an existential and ambivalent terrain. Questions concerning digital technologies are thus questions about human existence. This theoretical essay employs key concepts from existential philosophy to envision an existential media analysis that accounts for the thrownness of digital human existence. Tracing our digital thrownness to four emergent fields of inquiry, that relate to classic themes (death, time, being there, and being-in-and-with-the-world), it encircles both mundane connectivity and the extraordinary limit-situations (online) when our human vulnerability is principally felt and our security is shaken. In place of a savvy user, this article posits the “exister” as the principal subject in media studies and inhabitant of the digital ecology—a stumbling, hurting, and relational human being, who navigates within limits and among interruptions through the torrents of our digital existence, in search for meaning and existential security.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 19, no 1, 96-110 p.
Keyword [en]
Death, digital culture, existential philosophy, media and religion, vulnerability
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112973DOI: 10.1177/1461444816649921ISI: 000394086100010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-112973DiVA: diva2:782191
Projects
Existential Terrains: Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity
Funder
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, 2013.0150Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation, 2013.0150
Available from: 2015-01-20 Created: 2015-01-20 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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