The special issue addresses the development of the media system and creative industries in relation both to the major economic crises and to the role played by innovation in making the media – with respect to the crisis itself – assume a cyclical or anti-cyclical role. Starting from the conference, devoted to “Italian Society and the Great Economic Crises 1929-2016” and held by ISTAT (Italian National Institute of Statistics) in Rome on 25-26 November 2016, the essays collected here addresses the ways in which economic and social crisis of the past (1929, the 70s etc.) and media in their history are set in relation to crises (specific attention is given to the last post-2008 global crises). However the special issue aims to expand this framework providing the basis for a new periodization of the national media system. The emerging picture illustrates how the Italian media, following the 60s economic boom, have faced for the last forty years a time of uninterrupted crisis. In this wide time span, the crisis has sometimes functioned as a depressive element on the media system, and sometimes as a promoter of systemic innovation, favouring the rise of new content and forms of consumer options (for instance with the explosion of private broadcasting, or the advent of the social media, and the birth of connective media).
Questo monografico affronta lo sviluppo del sistema dei media e delle industrie creative in relazione sia alle principali crisi economiche che al ruolo svolto dall'innovazione nel far sì che i media assumano un ruolo ciclico o anticiclico rispetto alla crisi stessa. A partire da una serie di stimoli emersi durante la conferenza, dedicata alla “Società Italiana e alle grandi crisi economiche 1929-2016” e organizzata dall'ISTAT (Istituto Nazionale Italiano di Statistica) a Roma il 25-26 novembre 2016, i saggi raccolti nella special issue esplorano il ruolo svolto dai media sia nelle crisi sociali del passato (la crisi del Ventinove, le crisi degli anni Settanta ecc.) che durante l’ultima fase di crisi globale. La special issue mira però ad ampliare questo quadro analizzando anche il ruolo giocato dalle crisi economiche dentro alla storia dei media e alla loro evoluzione al fine di fornire la base per una nuova periodizzazione del sistema nazionale dei media. Il quadro che emerge mostra come i media italiani, esaurita la fase del Boom economico, si siano confrontati con un periodo di crisi sostanzialmente ininterrotto fino al periodo attuale in cui la crisi economica ha talvolta funzionato come elemento depressivo del sistema dei media e talvolta come promotore di innovazione sistemica, favorendo l’aumento di nuovi contenuti e nuove forme di consumo (ad esempio con l'esplosione Televisioni e delle radio privata, o l'avvento dei social media e la nascita dei mezzi connettivi).
The “Great Crash” of 1929 was the first example of a modern crisis in which the media played a significant role in the subsequent recovery. The most significant contributors were the cinema, the radio, and photography. The growth of the entertainment industry, even in its most controversial aspects (with the legalization of gambling and the end of prohibition) was also decisive. Academic analysis has been somewhat late in addressing the multiple links between entertainment and the resolution of modern economic crises. In contemporary times, the two traditional spheres of public activity – politics and the media – should recognize the birth of a third sphere, that of social media, where everyone can become a medium. Any proposed solution to such crises that does not take into account the social media factor is likely to be thwarted.
The article describes the Italian broadcasting system from 1974 to 1984: a decade of great change, characterized by the end of the public broadcasting monopoly, the growth of local, private broadcasting, and – at the end of the decade – by the formation of a public-private duopoly. The Constitutional Court and the absence of political decisions and engagement played a central role in the rapidity and breadth of private TV station development. This article focuses on the role of strong, super-market growth in the commercial distribution system, its impact on the information required by consumers to make their choices, and the necessity of increase advertising communication channels. These three factors are used to explain the considerable increase of commercial influences on the Italian broadcast system.
The culture of connectivity in Italy is produced by the interrelation of social media and the evolution of social ties evolution. This article analyses this culture by highlighting the dynamics of power and participation, and overcoming the dichotomy between the “manipulative” and “democratization” media theses. It therefore focuses on the specific transition between web 1.0 and web 2.0, tracing a change, caused by the spread of social network platforms, in discourses on the social sense of connectivity: in other words, reconstructing an history of technological and communicative transformations coupled with specific events that can produce a different social consciousness of connectivity. The approach adopted to analyze this transition in terms of the social history of the media will be periodization, while the mediatization approach will serve as the broader framework for understanding and interpreting the relation between the spread of social media and the evolution of the sense that social ties express the culture of connectivity. Linking periodization to mediatization will more specifically involve taking the temporal dimension into account on at least three levels: an events-based, micro-type temporality, capable of identifying specific media events or widespread media practices; a meso-type temporality, marked by a succession of media waves which underline the disruptive effect of certain ecosystemic configurations of media devices, which can alter significantly both market and cultural dimensions; and a macro-temporal dimension, suitable for tracing a succession of technological ages, such as the passage described in the literature as the transition from the age of the industrial revolution to the information or digital age. This framework of mediatization through the lens of the periodization of Italy’s digital evolution enables us to identify– in the context of a long-term perspective on the digital age – the countercyclical role of the digital, which, especially in the mid-period, both fostered and characterized the transition from web 1.0 to web 2.0. By applying a short-term, “evenemential” logic to an analysis of the 2009 to 2014 period, it becomes possible to trace the way in which the mediatization of the social tie, thanks to the diffusion of web 2.0 in Italy, resulted in a swift transition from a rhetoric of “friendship” to a rhetoric of “participation” thatin turn was widely perceived as becoming, in a political sense, increasingly critical.
The current economic and financial crisis is forcing a rethinking of dominant economic models and, at the same time, triggering innovative socio-economic processes. Over the past years, in the fashion and design industries several interesting experiences have emerged that partially recover traditional strategies, yet innovate thanks to digital technologies. The goal of this paper is to reflect on the relationship between fashion, design and new technologies, and those intersections between them that are increasingly labeled with expressions such as digital fabrication, wearable technology, or fashionable technology. The advent of digital technology has led to significant innovations in modes of production, sales, communication and consumption; innovations that can transform not only tastes and lifestyles but also offer real prospects for a sustainable and fair future.
In the last decade, connective media has created new forms of digital economic circulation based on disintermediation, cooperation, content creation and sharing, which have become fundamental to everyday life and communication practices during a period of crisis. Within this new scenario, digital disruption has generated new sharing experiences and realized the regime of a gig economy. As a matter of fact, the “platform society” equates to that of prosumer capitalism: digital circulation affects audience experience in terms of prosumption, turning the users into potential content creators. Thanks to the pervasiveness and familiarity of “connected media”, individuals may practice their creativity and experiment with their ability as content producers. The article aims to examine this transition with respect to a specific online platform, You-Tube, where audiences continuously experiment with the condition of being both consumers and producers, investing time and skills (i.e. digital labour) in an immaterial, collaborative work, ultimately resulting in the shift from user generated content (UGC) to professional generated content (PGC).
The essay aims to highlight the complex theme of media relations and crisis within the history of the Italian media system. The perspective used here makes possible a new periodization of the national media system, one that goes beyond the monomedial perspectives that are largely prevalent today. Starting from economic data and social analysis, the essay argues that the country has been in a substantial crisis for many years, before then revealing how the crisis, in these long years, has at times functioned as a depressive element in the media system, and others fostering innovations in the system, favouring the rise of new content and forms of consumption (for example, with the explosion of private broadcasting, or the advent of social media and the emergence of connective media, as mentioned in earlier contributions).
The aim of this paper is a reconsideration of the questions surrounding the film and audiovisual media experience in the light of the current debate in psychology and the neurosciences. It presents four steps to assess the current situation: first and most obviously, to define clearly both the field of research and the methodology proposed; secondly, to employ a grounding paradigm, which may be found in the concept of functional consciousness; thirdly, to address the core theories of the psychology of emotions, which today lies at the heart of the scientific debate, and to do sousing the most up-to-date tools, with particular regard to the psychological construction of emotion and subsequently that of the film and audiovisual media viewing experience; fourthly and finally, to define the relevance of the model with respect to the specific field of film and media, which will be done here through the use of classic filmological models that take into account the dynamics of the attribution of reality to film images, emotional participation, and cinematic selfprojection. The last of these, in my view, allows us on the one hand to draw a richer and more up to-date picture of the film and audiovisual media experience and, and on the other, to understand a neo-filmological approach as a mediator between phenomenology and functionalist psychology. Here, again, emotion will play a crucial role.
The concept of “home” is a crucial leitmotiv in the history of Swiss cinema. More specifically, Heimat – a concept that intersects with that of “home” without overlapping with it – was an important issue in Swiss cinema since the silent film era, and became central during the 1940s and 1950s: the golden age of the Swiss Heimatfilm. In these films, patriotic cultural values are projected onto idyllic natural landscapes, which become the materialization of the concept of Heimat itself. New Swiss Cinema marked the beginning of a modern, critical, urban national cinematography in the 1960s. Since this point, the concept of Heimat, instead of being dismissed, has been criticized. In my article, I will argue that this critique can be perceived particularly in Swiss films related to the Italian diaspora. In many of these films the idyllic representation of Heimat is deconstructed through the representation of a claustrophobic, precarious or even uncanny domestic sphere. For many migrants in these films, to be at “home” simply becomes a dream. Focusing on the analysis of a representative corpus of films, my article intends to bring to light the complex relationships between home, Heimat and diaspora and, in doing so, to contribute to the debate which flourished in the social sciences and in media studies around these concepts and their representations.
True crime, at the crossroads of narrative, documentary and art, is crime fact that looks like crime fiction. Through the case study of Making a Murderer (2015), the intent of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework for this genre, considering it as a vehicle for social transformation. More precisely, by adopting the perspective of Victor Turner, its goal is to focus attention on the delicate intersection of two levels: the sacred and official legal procedure (the liminal) and the critical, artistic and parallel interests of the true crime (the liminoid).
The paper inspects existing and possible intersections between the use and the production of art forms (within its widest meaning: theatre, music, dance, figurative art) and multiple forms of disability, fragility and vulnerability. The study is based on field research that adopted a qualitative sociological approach, realized at the margins of the In Necessità Virtù Festival in Bergamo (born in 2012, in the wake of a previous event). It proposes to give a voice and a body to forms of marginality and hardship through forms of art, but not only. Pairs of contrasting words (production/use, sloth/commitment, visibilia/invisibilia, fragility/resilience, process/product) came forth from the stories told by privileged witnesses, involved in various ways in artistic research and work in contact with socially fragile subjects (the physically and mentally disabled, prisoners, depressed people, and so forth). The tension that emerged – never mutual exclusion (aut aut) nor simple juxtaposition (et et) – intersects the artistic experiences within conditions of marginality, fragility, and hardship. Above all, it is evident that, particularly within these walks of life, artistic languages do not limit themselves to unveiling the human condition, but also inspire in everybody – men and women alike– that generativity that changes lives, powers, communities.
Within the sphere of contemporary performative theatre – where the text cedes its leading role as bearer of the author’s message, in favour of the equivalence of various expressive codes – lies the work of Rimini Protokoll: a German team of author-directors that has been active in Europe for more than fifteen years with traditional and interactive theatre, installations, sound and radio plays. Rimini Protokoll’s work is also an expression of German documentary theatre, which reflects on the problematic nature of history by focusing on unresolved issues in the present. In this framework, this article proposes an analysis of Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 & 2, an example of a performance that is centred on a burning contemporary topic: the end of the copyright on Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the subsequent problem of its reprint. On the stage there are six “experts” – not professional actors – who examine their personal relationship with the book and most of all investigate its influence on the present. This starting-point is an opportunity for a wider, more articulated reflection on social and historical issues that go beyond Germany in the Nazi period, but spread across time and space. The urgency is not the reconstruction of the past, but its repercussion on the present. The performance is furthermore a reflection on the role of books in the collective imagination and on their connection with other media.
Social media can provide strong opposition to traditional cultural values and to the preconceived portrayal of women in mass media2. The objective of this article is to analyse the way in which digital platforms can lead to the social emergence of certain issues and to examine the cumulative effect produced online through these channels. Are these platforms able to create online communities and inspire positive circles of information, sharing, and participation? What are the ways through which such themes have undergone an educational transformation with regard to related communities? The primary objective is to investigate how these interactive tools contribute to the formation of a collective conscience, focusing in particular on the dimensions of ‘memory’, ‘reflection’ and ‘action’. The study also investigates the opportunities for education and training that are available on the Internet, for a more proactive critical reflection of the issue.
People’s attitudes and behaviour are influenced by their perception of Others and by their expectations towards them, with particular reference to: the socio-cultural context of belonging; the values of reference that are ascribed to the Others; and the pre-existing relationships between the two parties. These dynamics are strongly influenced by the information conveyed by the media, in their dual role of mediators of reality and opinion leaders. In turn, this information often becomes a “distorted reflection” of reality. The latter aspect is particularly relevant if we consider the media’s ability to offer its public social representations on which people base and restructure their interactions and social actions. The news about terrorist attacks by variously organized groups, or on massacres committed by individuals in murderous rages, often act as a sounding board for social issues, such as crime, protection, and the safety of individuals and communities. These issues, when considered in their entirety, may give rise to so-called “moral panics”, i.e. situations of general alarm. As a supporting example, this paper compares the “representations” offered by some of the main European national newspapers of some events associated with the phenomenon of terrorism.
The language of advertising in Italy has been the object of extensive study in the years from 1965 to 1975, when the diffusion of the new television medium drew the attention of the linguists towards the relationship between language and society. As a result of this activity, the key mechanisms of advertising language – on paper and on the TV screen – were established as a fixed set of linguistic phenomena, that has not been questioned or revised since. Changing economic conditions and the advent of a revolutionary medium, i.e. the web, have completely redefined communication and marketing strategies, as well as consumer profiles. On the basis of a lemmatized sample created from the online websites of five major cosmetic brands, the present study outlines the main features of the advertising language on the web, comparing them to “standard advertising language” and establishing a set of inherent dissimilarities, which stem from the peculiarities of the medium and its users.
The special issue addresses the development of the media system and creative industries in relation both to the major economic crises and to the role played by innovation in making the media – with respect to the crisis itself – assume a cyclical or anti-cyclical role.