Matching Items (2)

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Becoming the medium

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The original mediums were not texts or technologies; they were ritual actors performing acts of mediumship. Mediating between determined norms (the status quo) and emergent trends (change), they invoked divine

The original mediums were not texts or technologies; they were ritual actors performing acts of mediumship. Mediating between determined norms (the status quo) and emergent trends (change), they invoked divine authority to conjure meanings that proved adaptive, nonadaptive and/or maladaptive. With the advent of the written word, ritual became formalized and codified. The medium became a communication device, something abstract and external to the human condition. It then became possible to speak of "media effects" imposing influence in a logical deterministic manner. Yet with the advent of new media, we are witnessing a return to modes of cultural discourse that are spontaneous, interactive, communal and unscripted, all hallmarks of ritual action. This "ritual return" centers on the emergence of the "prosumer" (producer/consumer), a figure actively engaged in mediating practices. While resembling the original archaic "medium" in some respects, the prosumer is a "literate ritualist" allied with a multiplicity of cultural tribes. Thus the "new media" has given rise to "the new medium." The pages that follow focus on acts of contemporary mediumship, examining related concepts such as "ecology," "niche," "role," "affordance," and "trope." Each section considers how specific mediating practices afford and constrain modes of ritualized behavior. I call this practice-oriented approach to media studies "praxism."

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  • 2011

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Globalize or Chinanize: a comparison of Facebook and Kaixin001

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Although the social network site (SNS) Facebook achieved great success around the world, in China, it was over taken by the local website Kaixin001. Using comparative analysis and interviews, this

Although the social network site (SNS) Facebook achieved great success around the world, in China, it was over taken by the local website Kaixin001. Using comparative analysis and interviews, this thesis compared the architecture of the two websites and Chinese users' attitude towards them. From one side, the result indicates that they are almost the same, but not quite. Kaixin001 is a copycat which adapts to local cultures and political regulations. From the other side, the research also highlights that people associate Kaixin001 with a game platform rather than a social tool. It suggests that there are two layers of digital divide: access and utilization. Chinese users can not get equal access because of the Great Firewall. At the same time, unlike western users, they are fond of playing games, listening music and other functions, rather than creating original content or building social capital. Therefore, the SNS utilization is not equal. Because of regulations and self-surveillance, their SNS use is enjoying the apolitical does not challenge the Chinese state. At the end of the thesis, the author points out the limitations of this research. As Internet-mediated qualitative research, this study lacks extended time and samples to explore the SNSs in global context. Further research is needed to collect extended samples. Moreover, the users' dependence on social network websites may be addressed to seek more comprehensive and deeper understanding of SNS.

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Date Created
  • 2011