Contemporary meanings and experiences of television in the digital age

Xabier Landabidea Urresti, Eugène Loos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Television was an everyday reality for millions of people at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and arguably remains one of the most important features of media-related leisure. It provides a fertile conceptual and empirical starting point for the exploration of the everyday leisure experiences of media audiences. In this article, contemporary meanings and experiences of television are examined on three dimensions, namely the practices of (watching) television, television and the understanding of everydayness, and the experience of television itself. The emerging meanings and experiences of TV in the digital age are contrasted with the continuities and momentum of more traditional forms of watching and understanding television. Differences were found among the four different age groups (younger adults, middle-aged adults, older adults and elderly) studied, as were important similarities among people belonging to the same age group. The notion and experience of television are being transformed in the digital age, and televisual leisure opportunities appear inserted both in a transforming media ecosystem and in the everyday life of people. The article argues that it is in the contested, negotiated and complex domains of leisure experience and generational belonging that we should continue to explore the notion(s) of television by using new epistemological approaches. This will help us to understand not only its contemporary but also its future status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Television (print)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • digital age
  • experiences
  • generation studies
  • leisure studies
  • meanings
  • television


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