The new media are in the spotlight of contemporary research. Besides technological innovation and the ideological fascination of the ‘new’, their use, purpose and influence on society are still not fully understood. The development of the new media has become an important indicator for measuring social, cultural and political ‘change’. In the context of this conference, we understand ‘change’ as the increasingly interdependent nature of the political and the cultural life in the framework of new media.
The development of new communication technologies and the standardization process of their use have asked for reconsidering the concept of the public sphere and redefining the border between the private and the public. User-empowerment has opened the way for direct democracy and political participation, while user generated content changes the way we consider cultural production, making network society an inseparable cultural and political mix.