Special Issue "Mediatization of Social Sustainability: Paradigm of Explication and Understanding of the Environment, Society and the Economy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Ecology and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Stefan Bratosin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
IARSIC-CORHIS, Paul Valéry University of Montpellier 3, Route de Mende 34199 cedex 5, France
Interests: (emerging) media and religion, mediatization and mediation, public sphere, spirituality, liberty of religion, secularity and religious organizations and institutions, symbolic forms within semi-closed organizations/institutions, French concertation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The present call aims to broaden the scope of the social dimension of sustainability to aspects related to mediatization and culturalization. In order to go beyond the vision of social sustainability based on equity and the fight against social exclusion (Lafferty, 2004), this Special Issue intends to offer a vision based on the analysis of sustainability from relations and social practices in media and cultural terms—that is to say, what we call a mediatiatization and culturalization of sustainablity (Parra and Moulaert, 2011).

Current research on mediatization (Hjarvard, 2011; Lövheim and Lynch, 2011; Schofield, 2011; Couldry, 2012; Bratosin, 2016; Gomes, 2016; Lövheim, 2011; Lövheim and Lundmark, 2019) has shown how the mediatization process impacts the role of media in framing, constructing the meaning of, and transforming contemporary societies characterized by the “mediatization of everything” (Livingstone, 2009; Bratosin, 2016). The mediatization, used “to analyse critically the interrelation between changes in media and communications on the one hand, and changes in culture and society on the other” (Couldry and Hepp, 2013, p. 196), is particularly relevant for the study of social sustainability.

The transdisciplinary nature of the recent international interest in the study of the mediatization of social sustainability covers and contains the ordinary need of social sciences to question and provide elements of response to the necessity to reconsider the paradigm itself of clarification and understanding of the environment, society, and the economy in line with the injunctions for changes imposed by the technological innovations that mark the second decade of the 21st century. The media treatment of social sustainability in favor of the development of social media and new information and communication technologies introduces into the democratic and scientific debate a major cognitive discontinuity, very little taken into account, which raises many questions, on the one hand, of ideological nature, but also of educational, epistemological, and methodological, and on the other hand, of producing scientific meaning in many fields of expertise such as information and communication sciences, sociology, anthropology, politics, law, management sciences, economics, psychology, philosophy, etc. This is an issue that appears even more profound and complex when we observe that the mediatization of social sustainability is not only the effect of a change in the way of considering the relations among the environment, society, and the economy, but also a mean of transforming the content of these reports and above all of producing mutations in the very content of daily behavior, of power in the public sphere, and of leadership—an issue also at the center of many research projects bringing together scientific perspectives that are very complementary through their diversity and through cultural geo-contextualization.

In order to account for this, this Special Issue of Sustainability sets out to bring together societies and cultures from the North and the South by joining work on the mediatization of social sustainability of scholars participating in various disciplinary fields. The objective is double: a) to explore the social construction of scenarios for the future, expectations on the horizon, roadmaps for the future, mediatized futuristic promises, etc. in order to observe the imaginary at work in the offer of media content relating to the materiality of sustainability, and b) to question the contribution of the media to the birth and development of ideologies related to sustainability and on the economic, ethical, psychological, political, etc. importance of this development inducing changes in interactions and social practices.

This thematic issue is also open to other questions that would bring theoretical, empirical proposals, and cases studies likely to advance research in this field.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Bratosin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Future
  • Ideology
  • Journalism
  • Governance
  • Mediatization
  • New information and communication technologies
  • Culture
  • Social sustainability
  • Social media
  • Socioecological systems
  • Sustainable development
  • Socioecological transformations
  • Socioecological research on lifestyles
  • Regulations of societal relations to nature
  • Resource management
  • Inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability studies
  • Society–nature interaction
  • Social ecology
  • Human ecology
  • Political ecology

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Talking about Sustainability: How the Media Construct the Public’s Understanding of Sustainable Food in Romania
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4609; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094609 - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 437
Abstract
Decades of medical research have focused on analysing the effects of sustainable eating on health and well-being; yet, less attention has been devoted to this subject in communication and media studies research. Recently, however, scholarly attention has shifted towards the way sustainable food [...] Read more.
Decades of medical research have focused on analysing the effects of sustainable eating on health and well-being; yet, less attention has been devoted to this subject in communication and media studies research. Recently, however, scholarly attention has shifted towards the way sustainable food is covered in the media. Nevertheless, previous studies analyse sustainable food together with other sustainability challenges, such as climate change. In this article, we focus our attention on analysing media reporting of sustainable food. Relying theoretically on the framing analysis approach coupled with Goody’s five-phase analytical framework in building sustainable food-related behaviours (production, distribution, preparation, consumption and disposal) and by applying the rationale of content analysis, this article examines media coverage of sustainable food with a focus on sustainable food production, distribution, preparation, consumption and disposal. Therefore, the article identifies trends and patterns of media coverage of sustainable food in Romania between 2014 and 2017. Interesting results emerge, showing that Romanian journalists reporting on food-related topics do not have a solid understanding of the field and contribute to the spread of inaccurate information often, resulting from insufficient research or inadequate use of sources. As a result of the lack of in-depth knowledge of those involved in writing about food, the media coverage of sustainable food is strictly reduced to reporting on aspects related to the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, framed as the only healthy foods, and recommended diets for specific underlying health conditions (such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and associated diseases). Full article
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Article
Eco-Discourses in a Virtual Rural Community
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3082; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063082 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 520
Abstract
This case study explores social media discourses of a virtual ecovillage community based in Central Romania, in a Hungarian speaking region of Transylvania. The investigated virtual community embraces the idea of ecovillage as a local constructive answer to the challenges of the global [...] Read more.
This case study explores social media discourses of a virtual ecovillage community based in Central Romania, in a Hungarian speaking region of Transylvania. The investigated virtual community embraces the idea of ecovillage as a local constructive answer to the challenges of the global ecological crisis, based on strategies of revitalizing local ethnic traditions, promoting sustainable development solutions, and innovations. Our key question is the relationship between tradition and innovation—as revealed by the discursive practices of the ecovillage Facebook group’s most active members. Using ecolinguistic discourse analysis as a frame of reference, the investigation unveiled the role social media played in fostering the formation of a virtual intentional community, and in clarifying the shared values of the group. We found that the local ecovillage is part of a larger regional and global movement, unfolding the organic connection between the Hungarian and the Romanian intentional communities, and the reframing of traditional values within innovative, sustainable everyday practices. Full article
Article
Refugees Welcome? Online Hate Speech and Sentiments in Twitter in Spain during the Reception of the Boat Aquarius
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2728; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052728 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 794
Abstract
High-profile events can trigger expressions of hate speech online, which in turn modifies attitudes and offline behavior towards stigmatized groups. This paper addresses the first path of this process using manual and computational methods to analyze the stream of Twitter messages in Spanish [...] Read more.
High-profile events can trigger expressions of hate speech online, which in turn modifies attitudes and offline behavior towards stigmatized groups. This paper addresses the first path of this process using manual and computational methods to analyze the stream of Twitter messages in Spanish around the boat Aquarius (n = 24,254) before and after the announcement of the Spanish government to welcome the boat in June 2018, a milestone for asylum seekers acceptance in the EU and an event that was highly covered by media. It was observed that most of the messages were related to a few topics and had a generally positive sentiment, although a significant part of messages expressed rejection or hate—often supported by stereotypes and lies—towards refugees and migrants and towards politicians. These expressions grew after the announcement of hosting the boat, although the general sentiment of the messages became more positive. We discuss the theoretical, practical, and methodological implications of the study, and acknowledge limitations referred to the examined timeframe and to the preliminary condition of the conclusions. Full article
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Article
The Experience and Meaning of Media to Non-Mainstream Athletes: Qualitative Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031154 - 22 Jan 2021
Viewed by 458
Abstract
This study aims to understand the process by which ssireum (traditional Korean wrestling), which was labeled a declining industry, has regained its popularity owing to the impact of the media. The study was conducted as a case study with ten ssireum athletes who [...] Read more.
This study aims to understand the process by which ssireum (traditional Korean wrestling), which was labeled a declining industry, has regained its popularity owing to the impact of the media. The study was conducted as a case study with ten ssireum athletes who participated in the television program “The Rhapsody of Ssireum.” Additionally, text analysis was performed based on in-depth interviews and auxiliary data collection. As a result, four media-driven transformative trends in ssireum were observed: a shift of the public’s interest from online to offline under the influence of media, shift in the public’s perception of ssireum athletes’ body, birth of ssireum stars with nicknames matching the characteristics of popular ssireum athletes, and ssireum athletes’ increased sense of responsibility toward ssireum matches felt under the spotlight of the media. Admittedly, media exposure of ssireum athletes has increased significantly compared to the past. However, for the popularization of ssireum, a sport unique to Korea, the athletes, and the ssireum association need to make a sustained effort. Full article
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Article
Contextualizing Sustainable Development Metric Standards: Imagining New Entrepreneurial Possibilities
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9661; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229661 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 500
Abstract
Imagination is more important than knowledge, but if intellect does not provide the needed logical structures, capacities for envisioning new possibilities are overly constrained. The sustainability problems we face today cannot be solved with the same kind of thinking that created them, but [...] Read more.
Imagination is more important than knowledge, but if intellect does not provide the needed logical structures, capacities for envisioning new possibilities are overly constrained. The sustainability problems we face today cannot be solved with the same kind of thinking that created them, but clarity on what counts as a new kind of thinking is sorely lacking. This article proposes methodical, model-based ways of heeding Bateson’s warning about the negative consequences for the ecology of mind that follow from ignoring the contexts of relationships. Informed by S. L. Star’s sense of boundary objects, a sequence of increasingly complex logical types distinguishes and interconnects qualitatively different kinds of thinking in ways that liberate imaginative new possibilities for life. The economy of thought instantiated at each level of complexity is only as meaningful, useful, beautiful, ethical, and efficient as the standards informing local adaptive improvisations. Standards mediating the general and specific, global and local, universally transcendent and embodied particulars enable meaningful negotiations, agreements, and communications. Attending to the differences between levels of discourse sets up new possibilities for creative and imaginative entrepreneurial approaches to viable, feasible, and desirable goals for measuring and managing sustainable development. Full article
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Article
Statistical Properties of a New Social Media Context Awareness Scale (SMCA)—A Preliminary Investigation
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5201; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125201 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1187
Abstract
In the Internet of Things era, or in the digitalization and mediatization of everything paradigm, where context awareness computing is on the rise, people are also facing a new challenge, that of being aware of the digital contexts, in all situations when surfing [...] Read more.
In the Internet of Things era, or in the digitalization and mediatization of everything paradigm, where context awareness computing is on the rise, people are also facing a new challenge, that of being aware of the digital contexts, in all situations when surfing the internet’s ocean of row information. The emerging social media context awareness competency refers to a new emerging skill regarding the trust load people give to a specific social media context they encounter. Since it is an emergent competence, it cannot be understood as standalone. If the digital context would not be available, we would not develop such a competence. Being a competence, it must be defined by three core elements: Knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Consequently, we have operationalized the competence of social media context awareness in terms of social media literacy, social media communication process understanding, social media content impact awareness, and social media confidence. An online questionnaire was created under the Erasmus+ project Hate’s Journey, addressing a convenience sample of 206 online youth respondents from Turkey, Spain, Latvia, and Romania. Our team has computed a reliability analysis on the social media context awareness scale designed with four items referring to social media literacy (m = 3.79, SD = 1), social media communication process understanding (m = 3.77, SD = 0.9), social media content impact awareness (m = 3.88, SD = 1), and social media confidence (m = 3.45, SD = 1). Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and the Exploratory Factor Analysis demonstrated the acceptable reliability of the SMCA scale, α = 0.87. Conclusions, implications, and limitations are discussed in the context of social sustainability. Full article
Article
Global Life Satisfaction and General Antisocial Behavior in Young Individuals: The Mediating Role of Perceived Loneliness in Regard to Social Sustainability—A Preliminary Investigation
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4081; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104081 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 787
Abstract
Healthy development can be viewed as an important dimension of the general wellbeing index and can be based upon lifelong sustainable satisfaction. Young individuals can represent an important component for society and its development. The literature shows that increased levels of global life [...] Read more.
Healthy development can be viewed as an important dimension of the general wellbeing index and can be based upon lifelong sustainable satisfaction. Young individuals can represent an important component for society and its development. The literature shows that increased levels of global life satisfaction (LS) can be associated with minimal levels of problematic behaviors and elevated levels of pro-social behaviors. However, low levels of LS can be associated with high levels of perceived loneliness (PL), which, in turn, can be associated with antisocial behavior (AS). In light of this, the current investigation aims to study the mediating effect of PL and the link between LS and AS. This study is a preliminary investigation referring to aggressive behaviors and cognition in relation to subjective wellbeing. The sample consisted of 81 young individuals (M = 27.57, Standard Deviation = 9.25) from Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, Romania. AS was evaluated with the How I Think Questionnaire (HIT), PL was measured with a single item inquiry and LS was evaluated with the satisfaction with life scale (SWLS). The results display that there is a powerful association between LS and AS, between LS and PL and between PL and AS. After the inclusion of the mediator (PL) to the model, the influence of the independent variable (LS) increased and the effect of LS on AS significantly decreased. In light of this, the relationship between LS and AS can be explained by the mediating role of the PL variable. The results indicate the importance of perceived loneliness in regard to one’s life satisfaction and antisocial behaviors. In light of this, interventions that focus on the social aspect could prove useful for the improvement of sustainable life satisfaction, therefore decreasing the chance of the emergence of AS. Full article
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