The Mediatized Home: Changes of Domestic Communication Cultures

Period November 2010 to June 2013
Conductor Prof. Dr. Jutta Röser
Dr. Corinna Peil
Dr. Kathrin F. Müller
Institution Department of Communication
University of Münster
Bispinghof 9 – 14
48143 Münster
Funding Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Talks List of Talks
Publications List of Publications

The aim of the project was to analyze the changes of domestic communication cultures that can be linked to the mediatization of the home, and to grasp these changes as a process. The basic presumption was that the Internet and other domestic media technologies have contributed to a lively dynamic of the digital mediatization of the home. This in turn was assumed to lead to changes within the communication between household members, to alter the meanings of the 'old' media, and to intensify the mediatized connections of these households with extern spheres.


To reveal these processes an already existing sample of 25 couple households was transferred into a panel and then analyzed on the basis of qualitative, ethnographic orientated household studies. Since this sample, which was allocated according to socio-demographic criteria within the framework of an earlier project, was already examined in 2008, the project explored a process of four years in total.

Overall assumptions of the project aimed at the alteration of domestic fragmentation and community, at a new interdependence between patterns of domestic media use and gender constellations, and at different mediatized communication practices due to varying educational backgrounds. Theoretically grounded in cultural studies the proposed project refered as much to the mediatization approach as to the domestication concept.

Findings and Results

Concerning the findings on the household’s media equipment and the overall infiltration of media, it is apparent that they were shaped by the coexistence of old and new media in 2014. The mobilization of media use changed the spatial placement of media sets and their use. Nevertheless, the implementation of new technologies and applications only gradually changed the frequency of media use. This discovery emphasizes that media use is not determined by technical devices and underlines the importance of and context of everyday life for domestic media use.