My review of Mark Deuze’s “Media Life” (2012; Cambridge: Polity) appeared in Digital Journalism volume 2, issue 4. My criticism boils down to this point:
Media Life is a daring, provocative and mindful analysis of the many ways in which media have become an irreducible component of the social. It is written in a very approachable style, presented in an impeccable typographic design, and is impressive in its scope of concepts, terminologies, and the body of examples from market research, art and popular culture. One (ironic) consequence of Deuze’s analysis is that it makes media studies as a discipline appear redundant by emphasizing how every social and humanistic science must acknowledge the position of media in the constitution of its objects of knowledge. On a more critical note, however, Deuze’s nebulous formulation of “we” and “the people” leaves much to be desired: whether “we” refers to anyone connected to the global information circuit and “the people” are all those entertaining any tangential relation to the life Deuze describes, definitely warrants a more nuanced sociological analysis. Whose life it eventually is, that is in media and nowhere beyond, will be the task to determine in the future of media/life studies. The consequences of Deuze’s remarkable claim that “we are all on our own but at the same time more connected than ever before” (p. 158) have yet to be determined.
Get a free download of the piece here: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/muTDT8CqBCsnsMiktDAr/full
Full citation: Raetzsch, Christoph (2014). “Review of Mark Deuze “Media Life”.” Digital Journalism 2(4): 617-619. doi:10.1080/21670811.2014.885262.
Drop me your comments on Deuze or the review below.