This essay is a response to the following question:
In participatory culture the consumer and producer no longer occupy separate roles rather “we might see them as participants who interact with each other according to a new set of rules that none of us fully understand”. Jenkins, Henry, Convergence Culture (London: New York University Press, 2006) 3. Identify a text or series of texts that challenge the previously established rules of engagement between consumer and producer. Outline how that text or texts challenge established rules and also how it/they demonstrate the collapse of the space between consumer and producer in participatory culture. Discuss your analysis through a theoretical framework that draws on related readings.
There have been many developments in the emergence of convergence and participatory culture in recent decades. In these developments, we have seen a complete new set of rules in how consumers and producers interact with each other, and how audience members have converted from being passive to active in their reception of information provided to them by producers. This new paradigm is not purely technological but also cultural as, convergence culture “represents a cultural shift as consumers are encouraged to seek out new information and make connections among dispersed media content” (Jenkins, 2006, Convergence Culture). The technology of course provides the platforms for this new form of interactivity, however it has most certainly moved past the basic technological functions and created a whole new culture and lifestyle for consumers and producers alike.
“The ways in which we are watching TV are thus changing, not just in terms of the increased prominence of interactivity but (disposable income and access allowing) the linked opportunities to purchase assorted merchandise, exchange thoughts and build knowledge on Internet chat rooms and websites and construct our own libraries of favourite series on DVD.” (Jermyn, Holmes, The Audience is dead, Long live the Audience.)
The hypodermic needle model, which is rooted in the 1930’s suggests that audiences are mass consumers, who receive and wholly accept information provided to them, and in the 1930’s this may have been the case, however, in more modern times, society has become more technologically aware and also, more independent and far better educated. One must remember, that during this era, propaganda and dictatorships were rampant, television and radio messages were sent out in order to make the audiences hear and see what the governments and people in power wanted them to see. Luckily, for the most part in our global society, we have learned from history’s mistakes and we no longer accept what we are told at face value, as the majority of people have a curiosity and a need for knowledge. And producers of television are aware of this too. There are now an extremely diverse and plentiful amount of programming available to audiences across a number of...