Abstract - The Information Society 21(4)

Digital Media and Disciplinarity

Jonathan Sterne

This paper asks two related questions: is digital media studies a discipline, and should scholars within the field desire to move toward disciplinarity? Drawing on the writings of Michel Foucualt and Pierre Bourdieu, as well as several Anglo-American cultural studies of disciplinarity, the essay argues that digital media studies has not yet constituted a truly novel scholarly discourse. Because of that, our reasons for disciplinizing – to the extent that it is possible to choose to become a discipline – would be largely strategic. Given that the field is already successfully reproducing itself, the symbolic benefits of becoming a discipline are relatively limited, and such a move would also have significant intellectual costs.


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