Rethinking media convergence and participatory culture in a non-western context

TitleRethinking media convergence and participatory culture in a non-western context
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Algan, E.
Affiliation (1st Author)California State University, San Bernardino
Section or WGParticipatory Communication Research Section
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodePCRF4a
Slot Code (Keyword)PCRF4a
Time of Session16:00-17:30
RoomQ119
Session TitlePanel: Contextual Trajectories of Mediated Participation across China and Turkey
Submission ID6581
Abstract

PANEL: Contextual Trajectories of Mediated Participation across China and Turkey
In this paper I argue that participatory culture is not always an inevitable and guaranteed outcome of media convergence, and trends toward increased participation initiated by media convergence can easily be reversed due to a new set of socio-cultural and/or technological circumstances. Drawing from my fieldwork in Southeast Turkey, I illustrate how, in terms of user experience and participation, media convergence enabled by the digital media systems does not necessarily transform the cultural logics that inform our use and consumption of dispersed media content, or how we –as consumers, audiences and users– contribute to the reproduction of such content, or even how we interact with others through our media practices. As is true of any culture, convergence culture is context specific and thus convergence does not necessarily indicate the emergence of a brand-new participatory culture or an enhancement of an existing one. On the contrary, due to increased commercial gains and opportunities, convergence can result in disrupting – or even destroying– earlier participatory cultures. In Southeast Turkey, consuming local radio via the computer while reaching the station via texting often constitutes a similar cultural practice for young people as listening to the same station on an analog transistor radio while interacting on-air via a land-line telephone. The difference, in the case of youth participation via local radio in Şanlıurfa, where I have been researching for a decade, lies in the diminished participation once the transition from analog to digital took place.

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