Constructive rituals of demediatization: Spiritual, corporeal and mixed metaphors in popular discourse about unplugging | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 13, Issue 3-4
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717



The increasing mediatization of everyday life has raised many concerns about the cultural consequences of digital technology and possibilities for individual self-determination. This article examines innovative practices of unplugging that people have constructed to challenge media logic and contest dominant cultural values – by creating create times and spaces of demediatization. The media ecology perspective, especially the work of James Carey, helps to shed light upon new rituals such as digital Sabbaths, fasts, diets and detox that advocate reducing or avoiding media use. An analysis of the spiritual and corporeal metaphors in popular discourse about unplugging reveals many symbolic and instrumental meanings that motivate resistant media users, a group oft-neglected by researchers. This article considers the collective obstacles to such individual practices and demonstrates that through constructive rituals, unpluggers not only critique mainstream culture but also enact an alternative vision of life.


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