Domestication Of The Media

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Domestication: A tool for understanding media

The umbrella term of ‘media’ encompasses the methods of interpersonal communication, examples of which range from television programs and newspapers to blogs on the Internet. The fast paced, constant evolution of the media makes it difficult to define and comprehend, but as the media itself evolves, concepts attempting to explain and control the media emerge, such as the concept of domestication. The concept aims to explain how individuals and societies use, and are used, by the media and how Information Communication Technologies (ICT’s) fit into the home, how the consumption and commodification of the technologies, and the overall effect of the domestication process on people, on individual and societal levels, influence the process of domestication. An understanding of the process of domestication results in a heightened understanding of how societies work, and an understanding of media and contemporary media forms. These understandings can be achieved through the examination of contemporary domestication studies, which aim to explain the effects of domestication on society and the technologies themselves.

Domestication can be defined as the incorporation of an object or concept into the home, or private sphere. It is the metaphorical taming of information and communications technologies, as new technologies are brought into the home and integrated into the daily routines and everyday life of individuals and families who often come to rely on these technologies. The domestication of media technologies is an ongoing process, tied to the process of consumption, as users, on societal and individual levels, adapt and conform these technologies to suit user’s situations. It is a con...

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...ossibility that domestication research begin to monitor and log user behaviour, to eliminate discrepancies between actual user behaviour and claimed behaviour. However, this would raise ethical issues regarding personal privacy (Berker, et al. 2006 p.14).

Domestication is used as a tool to understand how media and ICTs are introduced, acquired and used in everyday life. It is used as a conceptual framework in both communications and technological research, and explains how and why the current media system operates and interacts with individuals on private and public planes. The research explored in this paper illustrates the different ways the concept of domestication is used and the effects it has on the understanding of media. The concept of domestication has evolved as the technologies and media it describes evolve, and will most likely continue to do so.
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