Towards a Marxist Theory of Mediation: Contributions from Ibero-America to the Study of Digital Communication

  • Joan Pedro-Carañana Saint Louis University, Madrid
Keywords: mediation, communication, social change, Marxism, Ibero-American scholarship, digital socialism


This paper presents and articulates for the first time the concept of mediation as theorised by three key scholars of the Ibero-American space, namely Manuel Martín-Serrano, Luis Martín-Santos, and Jesús Martín-Barbero. This article shows that their understandings of mediation are valuable for the study of digital communication, particularly for identifying criteria that facilitate the sublation of communicative capitalism into communicative socialism. The three scholars have placed the concept of mediation at the centre of their intellectual production with the aim of breaking with mechanical Marxism, but provide differing conceptualisations and have scarcely engaged in a dialogue of knowledges. This article will articulate the complementarity of Martín-Serrano’s Marxist socio-historical analysis of communication, Martín-Barbero’s Latin American cultural studies, and Martín-Santos’s phenomenological theorisation of mediation as the key concept of Marxist epistemology.

Special Issue: Communicative Socialism/Digital Socialism