With the ‘cultural turn’, the concept of culture has assumed enormous importance in our understanding of the interrelations between social, political, and economic structures, patterns of everyday interaction, and systems of meaning-making. In The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Analysis, the leading figures in their fields explore the implications of this paradigm shift. Addressed to academics and advanced students in all fields of the social sciences and humanities, this Handbook is at once a synthesis of advances in the field, with a comprehensive coverage of the scholarly literature, and a collection of original and provocative essays by some of the brightest intellectuals of our time.

Cyberculture and New Media

Cyberculture and new media

Introduction

This chapter will start by addressing some key questions about the relation between the study of new media and that of cyberculture. As widely used in the 1980s and 1990s, the term ‘new media’ indicates a break within and from the modern mass media system. As the cultural expression of modern societies and as an instance of the industrial mode of production, the mass media system is said to produce a relatively uniform and standardized output. This output is targeted to an audience that is mainly conceived as composed of passive and homogeneous consumers of cultural products (for influential, albeit different, perspectives on mass communications see Adorno, 2001; and McQuail, 1994). Technically, the mass media are defined by ...

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