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Produsing Theory in a Digital World 2.0

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

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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 Sixteen: Afterword: What’s So New About New Media? (Dennis K. Davis)

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 C H A P T E R S I X T E E N  Afterword: What’s So New About New Media? Dennis K. Davis hat’s so new about new media? Or new media theory? This book provides a variety of answers to this question, even as it leaves other important questions for scholars to continue to pursue. The chapters offer cogent and heuristic insights into how new media are being used and the roles they play in society and pave the way for the ongoing research needed to provide more definitive answers. As Tom Lindlof notes in his discussion of interpretive communities, that concept is not a theory in the traditional sense: “Even with a more relaxed view of theory, current conceptualizations of interpretive community fail to tell us much about such basic matters as how to define its key components (e.g., strategy), where it can and cannot be applied (the boundary conditions of a theory), or the general mechanisms by which an interpretive community arises, changes, and sustains itself.” Instead, interpretive community is a theoretical concept that “provides a vocabulary and a bundle of ideas for identifying and studying scenes in which the collective activity of reading texts is prominent.” Most of the material presented in this book might be regarded similarly—and as Lindlof points out, such concepts can play a crucial role in both research and theory development. These concepts provide an essential starting point for scholarship and constitute an exciting agenda for research over the decades...

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