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Produsing Theory in a Digital World 2.0

The Intersection of Audiences and Production in Contemporary Theory – Volume 2


Edited By Rebecca Ann Lind

Continuing the explorations begun in the first Produsing Theory volume, this book provides a site at which varied theories – some still emerging – can intersect and shine a light into the spaces between what previously had been neatly separated and discrete components of media systems. In some settings, division by audience, content, and production settings remains useful, but this volume, like the first, is all about the interstices.
Contributors reflect varied perspectives in their approaches to the spaces formed as a result of rapidly developing and swiftly deploying new communications technologies and social software. They shine multiple spotlights into the intersection of audiences and production, providing a guide toward a nuanced understanding of the interstitial spaces.


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Chapter Five: Online Performative Identity Theory: A Preliminary Model for Social Media’s Impact on Adolescent Identity Formation (Bradley W. Gorham, Jaime R. Riccio)


 C H A P T E R F I V E  Online Performative Identity Theory: A Preliminary Model for Social Media’s Impact on Adolescent Identity Formation Bradley W. Gorham and Jaime R. Riccio n the first Produsing Theory volume, Shayla Thiel-Stern (2012) discussed how adolescents’ instant messaging and social media communication routinely breaks the fourth wall to collaboratively produce and perform identity within the confines of both technological and cultural templates. Borrowing from the language of dramaturgy and setting her analysis in symbolic interactionism, she explores how the new ways young people communicate open up new possibilities for presentation of self. We expand that work by adapting and applying social cognitive mechanisms to understand the power and effects of collaborative identity performance and the ways in which repeated and consistent productions of identity create enduring schemas for self. In essence, if symbolic interactionism provides a conceptual way of thinking about interaction online, this chapter aims to link those ideas to the psychological effects such interactions are likely to produce to reinforce perceptions of self around identity. Children have been of special concern to media effects researchers. Even with the modern conception of media effects as both contingent and subjec- tive (Erbring, Goldenberg, & Miller, 1980; Huang, 2009), American youth are still often viewed as having restricted capacity to resist mediated messag- es or to be truly active and critical engagers of media content. Although these are valid concerns, new media technologies also grant children access to a variety of tools for...

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