IAMCR Conference 2012, Durban - Report of the Section

As usually, the call for papers of the section included different possibilities. There first was an open call, following the main theme of the conference, as far as it met the work of the secion. Second, we asked for methodological papers. Third, we offered some panels about the topic “Family as an institution under the influence of Mediatization”, in which we as heads have been interested and what is a topic that was demanded already in some business sessions. And fourth, we as in the last years, called for contributions to a theoretical topic, in this case about the work of Antonio Gramsci.

For all that, we got 56 abstracts + 5 that were forwarded to our section by other sections, all and all 61 abstracts from very different countries and cultures. 45 of those were accepted, and they took place in 11 sessions, each one with  4-5 presenters. In spite of the fact that some of the abstracts have been in Spanish all of the presentations finally took place in English. There then was a session about methodological questions, one about family and media, and one about Gramsci and media studies. Furthermore there were sessions concerned with the general topic of the conference as well as with the interplay of mediatization, public opinion and society: the “Arab Spring” and its inspirations, theoretical and empirical questions of mediatization, civic relations and the public sphere, media and public memory, new media use and socio-political identities, media activism, media and nation building, and theoretical and conceptual questions.
Again as in previous conference we found the number of no shows very high (13). We feel there is a need to find more ways to ensure participation of accepted papers.

The business meeting was integrated in the Gramsci-session and discussed the themes and motions of the International Council and the situation of the IAMCR as a whole. Finally, the election of the head of the section was held during the business meeting. Over the past eight years, Friedrich Krotz and Hillel Nossek have been Co-Chairs. Friedrich Krotz stepped down at the Durban conference. The members thank him for his efforts and commitment serving the section. Hillel Nossek was re-elected as Chair and Corinna Lüthje from the University of Hamburg was elected as Vice-Chair.

Hillel Nossek, Corinna Lüthje