The Chair of Media & Communication Science, held by Professor Dr Udo Göttlich, focuses its research activities on current and historic perspectives on the processes of change in media and the public sphere, applying theories and methods from the fields of media and communication science, the sociology of culture, and from cultural studies.
The main area of research focuses on the relationships and connections of diverse processes of change in media and society. Regarding mediatized topics and contents, the chair analyses diverse developmental dimensions of public and social communication. The related teaching imparts theories and methods for researching and analyzing social and cultural change perpetuated through media and communication, and furthermore addresses the development of mass communication from a historical-comparative perspective.
Further research and teaching interests focus on two prominent social phenomena. These research activities are based on the new "Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere", which is characterized by numerous processes, leading to an increasing permeability of the arenas of public communication. This results, among other things, in the necessity of re-shaping and actualizing theories on the default lines of the public sphere and private lives. Furthermore, these developments address changes on a structural level, and on the level of media content. Whereas in the earlier phases of media development, differentiation between informative and entertaining, as well as between non-fictional and fictional contents was effortlessly possible, the current development of media content is characterized by a hybridization of such features which - together with further changes such as the increase in the autonomy of the media institutions - contribute to the current public changes.
Additionally, these factors result in further dimensions of social and political transformations, which the chair addresses in research and teaching. Examples range from the application, use, and reception of media to the analysis of broader changes in audience structures. Transformations in mass communication on a national, European, and global scale, mostly perpetuated by the Internet, are additional challenges for understanding the processes of the formation of cultural and social forms of order, such as the development of cultural and social practices. These dimensions of change have to be scrutinized in detail, through the application of perspectives of media and communication science, as well as cultural studies.
The common reference point of the research and teaching activities is the interest in current changes in cultural and social practices, proponed under the impression of the current media society, which become more dynamic, contingent, and contradictory as well.
You will find more information on current research projects under Research.