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1. A process of self-consciousness where an individual subject or group becomes the object of its own scrutiny, sometimes called self-reflexivity: see also prereflexive.

2. An aesthetic practice which foregrounds the signs of a text's production (the materials and techniques used)—thus reducing the transparency of its style. Anti-realist aesthetics (for example, Brechtian theatre) involves the principle that texts should reflexively foreground their own construction (see also alienation effect). Postmodernism often involves a highly reflexive intertextuality.

3. (ethnomethodology) The concept that routine conversations create the situations to which they refer, and that it is through such means that social reality is created and sustained: see conversation analysis.

4. Media reflexivity can be at the level of the text or at the level of the mediated subject. In the former the medium becomes part of the presentation: the opening shot of a news programme often takes the form of a long-shot which shows the cameras and lighting equipment in the studio. Self-consciousness on behalf of the televised subject (for example, in a celebrity interview) can create a reflexive effect in an otherwise naturalistic presentation.

Subjects: Media studies

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