Current research focuses on the processes of change in the public sphere against the backdrop of the growing relevance of entertainment media and popular culture, as well as issues in imparting publicly relevant topics. The interest lies in the analysis and development of "entertainment public spheres", as well as "cultural public spheres" in which these processes of change become visible.
A further focus of the chair’s activities is the theory of social theory, which is applied to audience theory. The main interest is in the further development of the action-theoretical concept with regard to the "creativity of action", taking into account current changes in the application, use, and appropriation of media, which result in the transformation of every-day communicative practices.
In the field of the sociology of media and culture, the interest lies in recent cultural forms of sociation, which can be described as "media society" or "media culture". An important research issue stems from media and communication sciences themselves, which are connected to their traditional programs to analyses of mass communication, resulting in questions of applying these traditional forms of research to current problems.
Currently, the chair pools the activities mentioned in research projects on audience participation in political TV talk shows. Grounded in theoretical approaches to the public sphere, the chair researches, how contributions by the audience, provided through social media, are integrated in the program - regarding editorial processes and content aspects. The immediate consequences for social participation are of special interest.
Additionally, the chair promotes a way of teaching methodology for media and communication sciences that is oriented in the inter- and trans-disciplinary cultural studies. This research tradition favors an evaluative and interpretative methodology.
In the context of the research of the chair on theories of the entertainment public sphere, postdoctoral research fellow Martin R. Herbers contributes perspectives on televised entertainment production. Additionally, he pursues further research projects in the areas of general entertainment research and visual communication.