Should contemporary media culture be understood as a culture that offers unprecedented freedom for producing participators – so-called “produsers”? Or should it rather be understood as a culture in which various forms of user participation in fact are conditioned, or even manufactured, by organized, professional producers?
Considering the increasing research attention that has been paid recently to various notions of mediated participation, most often with reference to social networking media or “web 2.0”, questions such as these are important to ask. They call attention to the need to both critically discuss and investigate the supposedly transformative potential of emerging media culture, which is based to a great extent on the applications that we have learnt to refer to as “social” media.
The contributions to this book, thirteen chapters from international scholars, add to our critical understanding of these new forms of media. They all draw on various theoretical concepts – such as producers, community, and participation – used when analysing media culture. But they also share a critical interest in problematizing and analysing the forms of power built into this culture.
The printed edition of Producing the Internet is out of print. A pdf of the book is available for download.