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Bengt Johansson

The Commodification of Mediated Social Relations

Media usage has always included aspects of commodification. The media audience has since the breakthrough of the mass media, been targeted as a recipient of advertising when watching (commercial) TV or reading newspapers. The advent of internet has moved this commodification of the media audience even further. Algorithms survey our internet behavior, user data is sold to third parties to pin-point ads; the digital development of traditional advertising targeting. But the commercialization of public space and social relations even expands that: individual bloggers are paid to promote brand labels to their followers, discounts is offered to media users if they distribute advertising to their personal network, and information about who’s connected to whom is commoditized and sold as valuable information. The present study presents results from a national representative survey (the SOM-survey) in Sweden (2014), where a sample of app. 1500 respondents answered questions about their view on different aspects of commodification of their life on internet.


Bengt Johansson, PhD, is professor in Journalism and Mass Communication at the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Gothenburg. His research is mainly focused on different aspects of political communication, but he also have an interest in moral and ethical aspects of media usage.

Among his latest publications are "Negativity in the Public Space: Comparing 100 years of Election Posters in Sweden" in Voltmer, K. & Canel, M.J. (Eds.) Political Communication Across Time and Space (Palgrave, 2014) and "Through the Party Lens: How Citizens Evaluate TV Electoral Spots", with Christina Holtz-Bacha, Journal of Political Marketing 13 (4) 291-306 (2014).

Sidansvarig: Christine Forssell|Sidan uppdaterades: 2015-06-30

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