Ruth Mei Ulina Malau | Understanding the relationship between social media use and identity performances of the minority youth in Indonesia

How do the minority youth consume social media? What are the effects social media use on the social interactions of the minority youth in Indonesia? How do the minority youth in Indonesia express and negotiate their identities on social media? These are the research questions addressed in the project. Despite the fact that young people are among the most active users of online media, their experiences are often marginalized in academic discussions of the internet within the discipline of communication (Livingstone, 2003, cited in Redden and Way, 2016). This study seeks to address this gap by focusing on the experiences of minority youth in Indonesia, particularly those who are considered minorities based on their ethnicity, gender, and religion. Through the application of virtual ethnography, this research aims to enhance understanding of the convergence of social media and the physical world, with a particular focus on concepts drawn from media and cultural studies.

Fabian Schlott | Algorithmic Mediation in the Digital Creative Economy

Traditional cultural economics research has primarily focused on the economic aspects of art markets and museums, neglecting the burgeoning platform economy’s impact on cultural consumption and dissemination. The rise of User-Generated Content platforms, which serve as intermediaries between numerous producers and users, introduces new dynamics in platform competition and consumer engagement through automated algorithms that streamline transaction costs. These platforms employ recommender, search, and ranking systems to cater to diverse user preferences, encouraging longer and more frequent interactions. However, the opaque nature of these algorithms raises concerns about potential biases and inequalities, as they are not subject to external audits or transparency.

Helena Baard | Afrikaans Film in Flux: Investigating the Deconstruction of Apartheid Ideology in Contemporary Afrikaans Films

How do contemporary Afrikaans films, rooted in biographical and historic source material, interrogate apartheid ideology to deconstruct the cultural hegemony of traditional Afrikaner culture and its reproduction within contemporary Afrikaner culture? I do a film analysis of six recent Afrikaans films made in South Africa, namely Vir die Voëls (2016), Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story (2018), Kanarie (2018), Moffie (2019) Poppie Nongena (2019), and Toorbos (2021). The history of South African cinema is closely tied to the country’s socio-political past. South Africa was an apartheid state from 1948 till 1994, which meant that it had legalised racial segregation.

Eirini Tsitse | Cultivating Cultural Innovation: Audience Engagement, Digital Dynamics, and Entrepreneurial Strategies

This PhD research investigates the transformative potential of audience engagement in the cultural and creative sectors and industries (CCSIs), focusing on the intersection of audience engagement, cultural entrepreneurship, and digitalization. Motivated by a research gap in understanding individual-level audience experiences in cultural sectors, the study aims to uncover how audience engagement influences the overall trajectory of CCSIs.

Vanessa Richter | Imaginaries of Artificial Intelligence – Mapping (Social Media) Platforms’ Role in Shaping (Public) Tech Imaginaries

Artificial intelligence is considered a key technology today, although interpreted diversely and ambiguously. With the shift of AI products into everyday life, new fears of job loss and promises of easing work burdens are hatching, impacting large public investments into research and industry and are reflected in policy discourses and legislation. The imagination and future perception of what AI can and should become have led to different trajectories showcasing the importance of social and cultural discursive imagination in envisioning and determining trajectories of AI and its integration into society through such imaginaries.