Multiplicities and the Subject: Rethinking a Mix-of-Attributes Approach in the Digital World
It has been 30 years since Clark made his call to focus on fundamental structures of media rather than media formats (such as radio or television) and more than 10 years since Eveland proposed a mix-of-attributes approach to media effects. This article suggests that it is time for a reevaluation of the mix-of-attributes approach, noting that there is a continued focus on format when studying media content. We argue for rethinking the assumptions that preempt a mix-of-attributes approach. As a way of accounting for the complexities of how messages move in the digital media ecology, beyond the constraints of singular media formats, we first invoke the concept of multiplicities (concurrent engagement with multiple information sources) and then propose that the role of the subject be foregrounded within a revised mix-of-attributes approach to studying media effects in the digital age.