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Transmedia Generation Prague - Jakub Macek: More than desire for text

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Published on Jul 13, 2012

Talk given at Transmedia Generation Prague: On Empowered and Impassioned Audiences in the Age of Media Convergence with Henry Jenkins
June 18, Charles University Faculty of Social Sciences

Abstract:

More than desire for text: online participation and social curation of content
Jakub Macek, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Why and on what basis do people choose contents and share them in online environments? Henry Jenkins' convergence culture theory inspirationally explains it with link to de Certeau's work and in relation to transforming relations between active, participative audiences, media contents and media corporations. However, as our qualitative pilot studies of new media users and audiences indicate, the "textually motivated" desire to participate on distribution of and control over texts is just one among other key motives of spreading and re-distributing of contents. Ethnographically oriented inquiries conducted at Masaryk University suggest that in case of participation, we laso have to take into account the dimensions of performative self-exposure and self-presentation and the fact that it is situated in context of everyday life of the audiences. In other words, members of participatory audiences share, re-narrate and re-distribute not only contents but also themselves and the representations of the worlds as they experience it. Thus, following Jenkins' convergence culture theory, Abercrombie's and Longhurst's theory of diffused audiences, Bourdieu's theory of social and cultural capital and theories related to the issue of media and everyday life, I suggest to approach participation as based not only on a "will to text" but also on a dialectical relation between a "will to self-perform" and a "will to conformity". These three sources of motivation then constitute practices of social curation -- a reflexive process in which audience members construct their textual agenda that is consumed and re-distributed by them.

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