Media Genealogy: Back to the Present of Digital Cultures

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The central metaphor for research is the branching family tree: media genealogy looks for past divergent lines and hidden relationships that point towards the present in critical ways; this includes the dead ends lost to the present. The genealogical method itself becomes a component part of the truth games being examined: it brings into focus not only the history and present of digital cultures but also the positions of the person investigating these cultures. This chapter identifies three basic traits of media genealogy: the use of multilinear tree structures that branch off towards the top and the bottom with a view to alternative, the collection of multifaceted and reciprocal relationships of influence with the aid of an eclectic theoretical and methodical toolbox; and an intuitive 'swimming' (Turner) in complex contexts of the past, and from there back into the present.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigitisation : Theories and Concepts for Empirical Cultural Research
EditorsGertraud Koch
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Publication date23.06.2017
Pages293 - 306
ISBN (print)1138646105, 978-1-138-64610-0
ISBN (electronic)978-1-315-62773-1
Publication statusPublished - 23.06.2017