Now more than ever, we need to understand social media - the good as well as the bad. We need critical knowledge that helps us to navigate the controversies and contradictions of this complex digital media landscape. Only then can we make informed judgements about what's happening in our media world, and why.

Showing the reader how to ask the right kinds of questions about social media, Christian Fuchs takes us on a journey across social media, delving deep into case studies on Google, Facebook, Twitter, WikiLeaks and Wikipedia. The result lays bare the structures and power relations at the heart of our media landscape.

This book is the essential, critical guide for all students of media studies and sociology. Readers will never look at social media the same way again.

Social Media as Participatory Culture

Social media as participatory culture

Key Questions

  • What is participatory culture? How have different scholars attempted to define it?
  • How have scholars understood participatory culture within the realm of socialmedia?
  • What do scholars mean by ‘participatory democracy’?
  • Are contemporary social media truly participatory?

Key Concepts

  • Henry Jenkins's notions of participatory culture and spreadable media
  • Participatory culture as ideology
  • Participatory democracy
  • Digital labour


Participatory culture is a term that is often used for designating the involvement of users, audiences, consumers and fans in the creation of culture and content. Examples are the joint editing of an article on Wikipedia, the uploading of images to Flickr or Facebook, the uploading of videos to YouTube and the creation of short messages on Twitter or Weibo.

The participatory culture model is often opposed to the mass ...

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