Mass Media as a Site of Resacralization…
2In recent years, I have become increasingly aware of theprofound changes in the way people come together sociallyand how they relate to each other when they are together. Ithink that this constitutes, at the deepest level, the object of the study of human communication. What does, in fact, bring people together socially? This is connected, I wouldargue, with the study of the media as the locus of the consti-tution of identities and as a space for configuration of communities. The media are, above all, a factor in the dif-ferentiation of various types of communities. This implies,of course, that the media are not just economic phenomenaor instruments of politics. Nor are the media interestingsimply as one more instance of rapid technological change.Rather, the media must be analyzed as a process of creatingcultural identities and of bringing individuals into coherentpublics that are “subjects of action.” To conceptualize therelations of modernity, religiosity, and media, one must seethe media as a central factor in the constitution of socialactors.
The Disenchanted Modernity
I begin this chapter with the affirmation that modernityhas not lived up to many of its promises of social, political,or cultural liberation. But there is one promise that it hasfulfilled: the disenchantment of the world.