We think that we live in democracies: in fact, we live in mediarchies. Our political regimes are based less on nations or citizens than on audiences shaped by the media. We assume that our social and political destinies are shaped by the will of the people without realizing that ‘the people’ are always produced, both as individuals and as aggregates, by the media: we are all embedded in mediated publics, ‘intra-structured’ by the apparatuses of communication that govern our interactions.
In this major book, Yves Citton maps out the new regime of experience, media and power that he designates by the term ‘mediarchy’. To understand mediarchy, we need to look both at the effects that the media have on us and also at the new forms of being and experience that they induce in us. We can never entirely escape from the effects of the mediarchies that operate through us but by becoming more aware of their conditioning, we can develop the new forms of political analysis and practice which are essential if we are to rise to the unprecedented challenges of our time.
This comprehensive and far-reaching book will be essential reading for students and scholars in media and communications, politics and sociology, and it will be of great interest to anyone concerned about the multiple and complex ways that the media – from newspapers and TV to social media and the internet – shape our social, political and personal lives today.
Prelude: Democracy or mediarchy?
PART ONE: MEDIA
Chapter One: Naming mediarchy
Interlude One: Heterarchy
Chapter Two: Approaching mediarchy
Interlude Two: Informational pharmacology
Chapter Three: Unfolding mediarchy
Interlude Three: Affective meteorologies
Chapter Four: Equipping mediarchy
PART TWO: MASS MEDIA
Chapter Five: Massifying mediarchy
Chapter Six: Systematizing mediarchy
Interlude Five: Media powers
Chapter Seven: Decolonizing mediarchy
PART THREE: MEDIUM
Chapter Eight: Archaeologizing mediarchy
Chapter Nine: Stratifying mediarchy
The politics of low frequencies
Chapter Ten: Magnetizing mediarchy
Interlude: Formative milieus
Chapter Eleven: Zombifying mediarchy
PART FOUR: META-MEDIA
Chapter Twelve: Digitizing mediarchy
Interlude: Data commons
Chapter Thirteen: Inhabiting mediarchy
Interlude: Mediarchic metamorphoses
Chapter Fourteen: Surprising mediarchy
List of illustrations