Tutorial 4 (The Doubling of Place)

‘The doubling of Place Electronic media, time – space arrangements and social relationships’ Moores argues that media including modern technologies such as the internet pluralise space. Consumers of media are not just in their physical location but, a virtual location which they occupy with other users.

In order to explore the creation of space Moores examines its relationship with time; both the dailiness of media and public events. Dailiness is examined through the work of Scannell who explains that it is the routine and cyclical scheduling of media programs in relation to certain times of the day i.e. breakfast which allow media to become a natural aspect of our daily routines. It is the programs that we watch each day that allow us not only to be in our living room but experiencing the world of the characters in a soap opera or the devastation of a natural disaster on the news. Major public events broadcast particularly highlight media’s ability to ‘double space’. As seen in the example shown by Moores (Princess Diana’s funeral) people stop their routine or ‘time’ altogether, this interruption of routine enhances the importance of the event. The broadcast enables people to experience the entire event, be there, as well as in their living room. The atmosphere surrounding the event also creates a sense of community; viewers feel as though the whole world is watching.  

Moores focuses on the concept of social relationships through technology throughout the text. He explores the internet, particularly chat rooms, as seen through his second case study where a virtual setting on the internet is created for people to talk to others who they may never have physically met. Moores notes that all these people are in separate physical places whilst simultaneously being together in a virtual space on the internet. The telephone is also examined as a technology which facilitates social relationships where the person on the phone is not only in their physical location but in a bubble with the person on the other end.

The doubling of place through technology is a key feature of modern society. Internet games such as World of Warcraft are a clear exemplification of Moores’ argument. The game is able to create a virtual world launching its users into another place other than their physical location, where they are able to form social connections with other users. The game incorporates itself into the routine of its users who often try to play for a specific amount of time at a certain time each day. The amount of users and the formation of larger social networks reveal the prevalence of the game and the significance of Moores’ argument that media, including electronic media have the ability to pluralise space.

Moores, Shaun ‘The Doubling of Place Electronic media, time – space arrangements and social relationships’ From Couldry and McCarthy ‘Media Space: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age’ Rutledge, 2004, 21 – 37

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