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Media and socio-cultural communication
Until relatively recently, the subject of social relationships, constituted in and through audience practices, has been a minor part of audience research studies. This chapter explores how social relationships and forms of audience agency change and / or evolve, through the usage of both traditional and ‘new’ media. In a media environment where traditional and new media worlds collide, the potential of audience practices to rework, not only media-audience relationships, but also wider social relationships, is now an important research theme. Two key examples of mediated relationships between social actors in conditions brought about through transformations in media culture are considered. We look at the evolution of audience ‘prosumption’ or ‘produsage’ (Bruns 2007), as well as at audience ‘activism’ (de Jong, Shaw and Stammers 2005). These examples are identified as illustrating new dynamics of social interaction, which may have the potential to contribute to larger, integrative social networks that transcend the existing boundaries of the traditional concept of audience. Against the background of traditional approaches to social relationships in the context of audience studies, we examine in both case studies the respective roles of the technologies, the social actors and the emergent social relationships concerned.
O'Neill, Brian, Gallego, J. Ignacio, & Zeller, Frauke. (2013). New perspectives on audience activity: ‘prosumption’ and media activism as audience practices. In Niko Carpentier, K.C.S. & Hallett, L. (eds.). Audience Transformations: Shifting Audience Positions in Late Modernity. London: Routledge.