CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition
This journal has ceased publication

Les Cahiers de médiologie


What is mediology?

The aim of mediology is to elucidate the mysteries and paradoxes of cultural transmission. We try to understand how a break in our methods of transmission and transportation causes a change in mentalities and behaviors, as well as, inversely, how a cultural tradition provokes, assimilates or modifies a technical innovation. Our overall perspective looks at technical and cultural interactions, at the intersection of what have been termed higher forms of social life (religion, art, politics) and the most humble aspects of material life (the usual, commonplace or trivial).

Mediology is neither a doctrine nor a moral science, and even less a "new science". Chiefly, it is an analytic method for understanding the transfer of a piece of information (transmission) over time. It is not a special field of knowledge (as is the sociology of the media) but, more broadly, an original mode of coming to knowledge, consisting in relating a given historical phenomenon to the mediations, both institutional and practical, which made it possible. One is acting as a mediologist whenever one brings to light correlations unifying a symbolic corpus (a religion, a doctrine, an artistic genre, a discipline, etc.), a form of collective organization (a church, a party, a school, an academy) or a technical system of communication (recording, storage and trace circulation). Or, more simply, when one writes down someone’s words, the way it was said and who wishes to repeat it.

The question, still obscure, of symbolic effectiveness lies at the heart of this inter-discipline. This was its launch pad. Karl Marx said: "An idea becomes a material force when it takes over the masses". Which mediations (that is, paths and means) transform a word, an image or a text into motion, mentality, movement and action? How does a Word become Flesh? Casting light upon symbolic effectiveness (that is, power of speech, power of words, influence of the image, etc.) leads to a close examination of the technical variables of message diffusion (logosphere, graphosphere, videosphere, current "hypersphere"), which are themselves linked to the different modes of transportation through space, as well as the strategies of collective organization that authorize this or that equipment. The medio – in mediology – therefore designates a whole set of devices which serve as the vehicle for a sign, its means (material) and its agents (social) of circulation (intermediary bodies and formal learning supports).

Numerous and multinational are the trailblazers and precursors of the large field of mediology, understood as the exploration of the symbolic world by logistical means: Victor Hugo ("this will kill that"), Walter Benjamin, Valéry, McLuhan, Walter Ong, etc. Mediology attempts to make the intuitions of such great pioneers coherent, intelligible—and to extend them, thus contributing to what may, one day, appear as an ecology of culture.

Journal Médium

“Why Médium?

when there is already a plethora of media?

To FIGHT against separations across time and generations.

To RENEW connections between knowledge of the mind and handicraft, nostalgia and prospective, culture and technology.

To HONOR the need to educate, the surest remedy for our finitude.

To REMEMBER that we only convey what we transform, because to receive without work has no value, and succession rhymes with subversion.

To SERVE as a meeting place for members of a single network who are ready to confront their differences.”

Régis Debray

Editorial Board

Director: Régis Debray

Editor in chief: Paul Soriano

Editorial secretary: Isabelle Ambrosini-Debray

Reading Committee: Pierre-Marc de Biasi; Daniel Bougnoux; Pierre Chédeville; Robert Damien; Pierre d’Huy; Michel Erman; Françoise Gaillard; François-Bernard Huyghe; Jacques Lecarme; Michel Melot; Louise Merzeau; Antoine Perraud; France Renucci; Monique Sicard; Robert Dumas; Hélène Maurel-Indart


Journal Cahiers de médiologie (1996 – 2003)

To bring light upon the relationships between techniques and culture, the journal Cahiers de médiologie aims to combine three separate approaches:

• the theme folder, made up of about twenty illustrated articles concerned with one issue,

• the anthology, offering a selection of extracts from classical, rare or unusual texts relating to the folder’s theme

• the iconography, which proposes a visual thinking of mediology


Code of ethics

The Code of Ethics applicable to drafting committees and editorial boards of academic journals offered on, including Médium, is available on this page.

Other information

Print ISSN : 1771-3757
Publisher : Association Médium

Loading... Please wait