Considering Principal Components of a Digital Culture

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Participation, Remediation, Bricolage: Considering Principal Components of a Digital Culture by Mark Deuze

Within media theory the worldwide shift from a 19th-century print culture via a 20th-century electronic culture to a 21st-century digital culture is well documented. In this essay the emergence of a digital culture as amplified and accelerated by the popularity of networked computers, multiple-user software, and Internet is investigated in terms of its principal components. A digital culture as an underdetermined praxis is conceptualized as consisting of participation, remediation, and bricolage. Using the literature on presumably “typical” Internet phenomena such as the worldwide proliferation of independent media centers (indymedia) linked with (radical) online journalism practices and the popularity of (individual and group) weblogging, the various meanings and implications of this particular understanding of digital culture are explored. In the context of this essay, digital culture can be seen as an emerging set of values, practices, and expectations regarding the way people (should) act and interact within the contemporary network society. This digital culture has emergent properties with roots in both online and offline phenomena, with links to trends and developments predating the World Wide Web, yet having an immediate impact and particularly changing the ways in which we use and give meaning to living in an increasingly interconnected, always on(line) environment.

The Information Society, 22: 63–75, 2006 ISSN: 0197-2243 print / 1087-6537 online DOI: 10.1080/01972240600567170