The young scholars network on Culture, Media Uses, and Media Effects (C-MUSE) is an international network of scholars that have a special interest in research at the intersections of culture and the media.
The network is examining the interrelationship between culture, cultural belonging, cultural identities on the one hand, and media uses and effects on the other. Network members are thinking about how individuals with different cultural backgrounds, world-views, and values use the media, what type of (cultural) gratifications they obtain from doing this, and in what ways these outcomes affect their cultural identities. We are particularly interested in understanding the importance of media, such as the TV or social media, for migrant and refugee populations: how does their media use affect how they see themselves as part of ethnic collectives; how do the media contribute to their cultural identities; how do the media affect their belonging to social groups?
While scholars widely agree that culture influences the ways in which individuals use the media, and the ways in which the media affect individuals in return, the literature on the relationship between culture and media uses and effects is highly fragmented. Terms and findings have been limited to the confines of single sub-disciplines of either communication or psychology, with little cross-disciplinary exchange. The network aims to initiate a dialogue between these disciplines and to develop more integrative theories and methods on the topic. It has therefore brought together media psychologists, diaspora communication researchers, and cross-cultural psychologists, to carry out cross-cultural and indigenous studies on media uses and effects by paying special attention to the methodological challenges involved.
The network is headed by Prof. Dr. Özen Odağ and funded by the German Research Foundation The DFG-grant has enabled the researchers to get together at four consecutive workshops over the period of three years and discuss and produce research that deals with the said topic. Members of the network are currently working on processing the data obtained.