The Antwerp Media in Society Centre (AMSoC) studies how media both shape and reflect society at the same time. We disentangle the complex interplay between media industry, technology, representation and use on the one hand, and relations of power, mechanisms of exclusion, and democratic politics on the other.
The centre’s work is rooted in a constructionist view on social reality. The starting point is that media do not merely reflect society, identities and social relations, but actively shape them in daily processes of meaning-making. We combine a critical-interpretive approach, geared towards a contextualized and holistic understanding of the social world, with rigorous social-scientific research into media products, practices and uses.
This translates into multi-method research designs and methodological pluralism, but with a preference for qualitative methods such as discourse analysis, in-depth interviews and digital ethnography. We take an interdisciplinary approach: while firmly rooted in media and communication studies, our work draws on a wide variety of (sub-)disciplines such as cultural studies, political economy, journalism studies, political communication, television studies, digital media studies, environmental communication, and gender and sexuality studies.
The centre stands for a media scholarship that is critical and reflexive, and committed to interpreting and changing the social world in the name of equality, social justice and emancipatory social change. We develop critical pedagogies and media literacies and engage with civil society, media professionals and governments.