Winner of the 2007 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award
2007 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Convergence Culture maps a new territory: where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the power of the consumer interact in unpredictable ways.
Henry Jenkins, one of America’s most respected media analysts, delves beneath the new media hype to uncover the important cultural transformations that are taking place as media converge. He takes us into the secret world of Survivor Spoilers, where avid internet users pool their knowledge to unearth the show’s secrets before they are revealed on the air. He introduces us to young Harry Potter fans who are writing their own Hogwarts tales while executives at Warner Brothers struggle for control of their franchise. He shows us how The Matrix has pushed transmedia storytelling to new levels, creating a fictional world where consumers track down bits of the story across multiple media channels.Jenkins argues that struggles over convergence will redefine the face of American popular culture. Industry leaders see opportunities to direct content across many channels to increase revenue and broaden markets. At the same time, consumers envision a liberated public sphere, free of network controls, in a decentralized media environment. Sometimes corporate and grassroots efforts reinforce each other, creating closer, more rewarding relations between media producers and consumers. Sometimes these two forces are at war.
Jenkins provides a riveting introduction to the world where every story gets told and every brand gets sold across multiple media platforms. He explains the cultural shift that is occurring as consumers fight for control across disparate channels, changing the way we do business, elect our leaders, and educate our children.
Spreadable Media is a rare inside look at today’s ever-changing media landscape. The days of corporate control over media content and its distribution have been replaced by the age of what the digital media industries have called “user-generated content.” Spreadable Media maps these fundamental changes, and gives readers a comprehensive look into the rise of participatory culture, from internet memes to presidential tweets.
The authors challenge our notions of what goes “viral” and how by examining factors such as the nature of audience engagement and the environment of participation, and by contrasting the concepts of “stickiness”—aggregating attention in centralized places—with “spreadability”—dispersing content widely through both formal and informal networks. The former has often been the measure of media success in the online world, but the latter describes the actual ways content travels through social media. The book explores the internal tensions businesses face as they adapt to this new, spreadable, communication reality and argues for the need to shift from “hearing” to “listening” in corporate culture.
Now with a new afterword addressing changes in the media industry, audience participation, and political reporting, and drawing on modern examples from online activism campaigns, film, music, television, advertising, and social media—from both the U.S. and around the world—the authors illustrate the contours of our current media environment. For all of us who actively create and share content, Spreadable Media provides a clear understanding of how people are spreading ideas and the implications these activities have for business, politics, and everyday life, both on- and offline.
Henry Jenkins“s pioneering work in the early 1990s promoted the idea that fans are among the most active, creative, critically engaged, and socially connected consumers of popular culture and that they represent the vanguard of a new relationship with mass media. Though marginal and largely invisible to the general public at the time, today, media producers and advertisers, not to mention researchers and fans, take for granted the idea that the success of a media franchise depends on fan investments and participation.
Bringing together the highlights of a decade and a half of groundbreaking research into the cultural life of media consumers, Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers takes readers from Jenkins's progressive early work defending fan culture against those who would marginalize or stigmatize it, through to his more recent work, combating moral panic and defending Goths and gamers in the wake of the Columbine shootings. Starting with an interview on the current state of fan studies, this volume maps the core theoretical and methodological issues in Fan Studies. It goes on to chart the growth of participatory culture on the web, take up blogging as perhaps the most powerful illustration of how consumer participation impacts mainstream media, and debate the public policy implications surrounding participation and intellectual property.
Supplementing the original, classic text is an interview between Henry Jenkins and Suzanne Scott in which Jenkins reflects upon changes in the field since the original release of Textual Poachers. A study guide by Louisa Stein helps provides instructors with suggestions for the way Textual Poachers can be used in the contemporary classroom, and study questions encourage students to consider fan cultures in relation to consumer capitalism, genre, gender, sexuality, and more.
Stressing the social and cultural contexts of participation, the authors describe the process of diversification and mainstreaming that has transformed participatory culture. They advocate a move beyond individualized personal expression and argue for an ethos of “doing it together” in addition to “doing it yourself.”
Participatory Culture in a Networked Era will interest students and scholars of digital media and their impact on society and will engage readers in a broader dialogue and conversation about their own participatory practices in this digital age.
Vaudevillians used the term "the wow climax" to refer to the emotional highpoint of their acts—a final moment of peak spectacle following a gradual building of audience's emotions. Viewed by most critics as vulgar and sensationalistic, the vaudeville aesthetic was celebrated by other writers for its vitality, its liveliness, and its playfulness.
The Wow Climax follows in the path of this more laudatory tradition, drawing out the range of emotions in popular culture and mapping what we might call an aesthetic of immediacy. It pulls together a spirited range of work from Henry Jenkins, one of our most astute media scholars, that spans different media (film, television, literature, comics, games), genres (slapstick, melodrama, horror, exploitation cinema), and emotional reactions (shock, laughter, sentimentality). Whether highlighting the sentimentality at the heart of the Lassie franchise, examining the emotional experiences created by horror filmmakers like Wes Craven and David Cronenberg and avant garde artist Matthew Barney, or discussing the emerging aesthetics of video games, these essays get to the heart of what gives popular culture its emotional impact.
Unfortunately, our understanding of childhood and children has not kept pace with their crucial and rapidly changing roles in our culture. Pulling together a range of different thinkers who have rethought the myths of childhood innocence, The Children's Culture Reader develops a profile of children as creative and critical thinkers who shape society even as it shapes them. Representing a range of thinking from history, psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, women's studies, literature, and media studies, The Children's Culture Reader focuses on issues of parent-child relations, child labor, education, play, and especially the relationship of children to mass media and consumer culture. The contributors include Martha Wolfenstein, Philippe Aries, Jacqueline Rose, James Kincaid, Lynn Spigel, Valerie Walkerdine, Ellen Seiter, Annette Kuhn, Eve Sedgwick, Henry Giroux, and Nancy Scheper-Hughes.
Including a groundbreaking introduction by the editor and a sourcebook section which excerpts a range of material from popular magazines to child rearing guides from the past 75 years, The Children's Culture Reader will propel our understanding of children and childhood into the next century.
This report aims to shift the conversation about the "digital divide" from questions about access to technology to questions about access to opportunities for involvement in participatory culture and how to provide all young people with the chance to develop the cultural competencies and social skills needed. Fostering these skills, the authors argue, requires a systemic approach to media education; schools, afterschool programs, and parents all have distinctive roles to play.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning