Mediatized Rituals: Understanding the Media in the Age of Deep Mediatization
In this article, I propose the concept of mediatized ritual as a conceptual update to media events and media rituals. With this concept, I intend to better address the ritualistic orientation that privileges an increasingly mediatized social reality constructed through algorithmic collection, processing, and (re)presentation of data and metadata by communication technologies. I argue that to understand mediatized ritual, the media must be understood not as genres or media institutions, but as (1) the technological affordance and human practices of networked access to information and (2) the social perception of tamper-resistance of information, which construct the social reality in a mediatized manner. Blockchain technology and its social nature are analyzed as an example of the utility of the concept. The sociological implications regarding rituals, trust, normalcy, and power-relationship are also discussed.