Research / Projects

Audiences in the Age of Media Convergence: Media Generations in Estonia and Sweden

Audiences in the Age of Media Convergence: Media Generations in Estonia and Sweden

It is often argued that young people are among the first to adopt new media technologies, and that they are especially keen on taking on all new features connected with mobile technology and the Internet. In spite of this oft-repeated claim, one could suspect that since computers, mobile phones and other personal and digital media have become so widespread among large portions of the populations in the industrialised world, it might not be technology, per se, that distinguishes younger people from old, but rather the actual ways in which the media are used.

One way to discuss this is in terms of media generations. It could be expected that generations that have grown up with different mediated experiences during their formative years will relate to media technology in varied ways. This project aims at analysing media use and perceptions of media use among three generations in Sweden and Estonia, in order to analyses if, and to what extent, media technologies and media genres contribute to the generational experience.

The project focuses on three media generations: the radio/print generation (born in the 1930s), the TV generation (born in the 1950s), and the mobile technology generation (born in the 1980s). Access and usage patterns are researched, and the degree to which the three generations differ when it comes to their relations to digital media technology is discussed.

The methodological approach is twofold: quantitatively, results from bi-annually conducted surveys that are representative for Swedish and Estonian media users are analysed. Qualitatively, a range of individual and focus group interviews will be carried out in the two national contexts. The project is led by Professor Göran Bolin, who works together with a doctoral candidate.

Publications

Participations 2014, 11 (2): 108-131.

This article discusses from an inter-cultural and inter-generational perspective the relationship between ‘objective’ media landscapes and how they are subjectively perceived among four different media generations. Based on a focus group study with media users in Sweden and Estonia of two tentative generations, the relationship between the ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ media landscapes is analysed, as is how the landscapes produce nostalgia at the intersection of age, generation, life course and life situation. Based on the differences found in the cross-cultural and the cross-generational comparison, it is concluded that in relation to the formative years of the respondents, there are two different kinds of nostalgia produced: one individually based, focussing on childhood memories; and one social or collective, focussing on the formative years of the respondents.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Göran Bolin

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2014

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
Media and Communication Studies

Research area for doctoral studies

Critical and Cultural Theory

Northern Lights 2013, 11 (1): 3-14.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Eli Skogerbø

Göran Bolin

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2013

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
Media and Communication Studies

Research area for doctoral studies

Critical and Cultural Theory

Northern Lights 2013, 11 (1): 123-146.

The role that age and generation play in shaping patterns of (news) media consumption is a particularly significant issue in current media studies. By virtue of the interplay of the theoretical concept of generations and the critical study of language, the article, empirically rooted in the Estonian context, seeks to outline the ways in which language reflects some media-related practices and perspectives. Analysing qualitative data from focus groups conducted in autumn/winter 2011 among Estonian media users aged 16–72, the article attempts to shed light on the complex nature of the generational consciousness that manifests itself through interaction with people of the same age and with a socially shared framework in terms of the perception of news media’s role, as well as the adoption of novel forms of media and technologies. A specific focus is on four generations who reached their ‘formative age’ in one of four possible periods (1) the post-war period, (2) the Soviet period, (3) the period of restoration of national independence, and (4) the period of transformation into a democratic society and highly technologized media culture.  

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Signe Opermann


Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
Media and Communication Studies

Research area for doctoral studies

Critical and Cultural Theory

Status

Finished

Project Manager

Göran Bolin
Professor
School of Culture and Education

More information

Project start: 2010
Project end: 2012

Financier: Östersjöstiftelsen

Research linked to the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe: Yes

Information på svenska

Subjects to which the project is linked

School/centre to which the project is linked

Research area for doctoral studies to which the project is linked