- Issue Information
- Pages: 745 - 746
Abstract: No abstract is available for this article.
- Blindspots and Blurred Lines: Dallas Smythe, the Audience Commodity, and
the Transformation of Labor in the Digital Age
- Authors: Brian Dolber
Pages: 747 - 755
Abstract: Dallas Smythe's notion of the audience commodity provides a starting point for much work within the political economy of communication. First advanced when commercial television was the dominant medium, the controversial idea has proven to be an increasingly useful way of conceptualizing media economics in the digital age. Originally posited as a critique of Western Marxism's concern with ideology over materiality, two generations of media scholars have elaborated upon the idea. First, scholars offered it greater specificity and utility by connecting the political economy of media to more general concerns regarding labor, gender, and race. More recently, the audience commodity has become an increasingly useful theoretical tool, demonstrating how digital technologies enable new forms of economic exploitation. Rather than binding media studies to a rigid structuralism, the audience commodity helps illuminate the fluidity of media economies and culture under neoliberalism. I conclude that scholars may productively utilize and expand upon the audience commodity to answer contemporary questions about media and alienation, the state, and social movements.
- Are There Still Alternatives? Relationships Between Alternative Media and
Mainstream Media in a Converged Environment
- Authors: Jennifer Rauch
Pages: 756 - 767
Abstract: Media scholars and non‐scholars alike have long sought to discern and describe the differences between alternative media and mainstream media — a task that became harder in the digital age, as online communications blurred boundaries. This essay examines how theorists and researchers have attempted to clarify the term ‘alternative media’ and to explain why this category remains relevant in a networked society. Academics largely reject the alternative–mainstream dichotomy and view these media on a continuum, featuring many hybrids and few pure instances. While differences between the two forms are less apparent in liberal democracies than in authoritarian regimes, alternative media persist in being less commercial, producing more critical content and being more committed to social change than their mainstream counterparts. In a converged context, the idea of ‘alternative media’ with a dialectical, interdependent relationship to the mainstream remains important to many producers, users and scholars.
- What We Are Talking About When We Talk About Social Media: A Framework for
- Authors: Jeffrey W. Treem; Stephanie L. Dailey, Casey S. Pierce, Diana Biffl
Pages: 768 - 784
Abstract: Social media continues to grow as a focus of social, organizational, and scholarly interest, yet there is little agreement as to what constitutes social media and how it can be effectively analyzed. We review various definitions of social media and note that much of the confusion regarding social media comes from conflation between social media types, platforms, and activities. To facilitate investigations of social media, we debunk common social media myths and review the relationship between social media and several prominent sociological concerns. We conclude by reflecting on directions for future research on social media.
- Social Media and Social Movements
- Authors: Dustin Kidd; Keith McIntosh
Pages: 785 - 794
Abstract: What role does social media play in social movements and political unrest? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google have all been cited as important components in social revolutions, including those in Tunisia, Egypt, Iceland, Spain, and the global Occupy movement. This essay explores social science claims about the relationship between social networking and social movements. It examines research done on the relationship between social networking, the promotion of activism, and the offline participation in the streets. Can the technology of social networking help activists to achieve their goals? If so, is it just one of many tools they may use, or is the technology so powerful that the right use will actually tip the scales in favor of the social movement? This scholarship divides into optimistic, pessimistic, and ambivalent approaches, turning on an oft‐repeated question: will the revolution be tweeted?
- Using Dramaturgy to Better Understand Contemporary Western Tattoos
- Authors: Derek Roberts
Pages: 795 - 804
Abstract: Spurred on by increasing participation rates, scholarship on tattoos in Western societies has increased noticeably in recent decades. Often focusing on members of the middle class, scholars have assumed that the increasing number of people with tattoos is evidence of mainstream acceptance. In the following article, I critically evaluate claims of tattoo's new mainstream status. Rather than being embraced by the mainstream and power elite, studies and legal proceedings show that tattoos and piercings are only tolerated to a certain degree. I suggest that applying Erving Goffman's dramaturgical approach to contemporary tattoos provides a more complete understanding of tattoo's cultural location. It also allows the focus of the discussion to move beyond the individual attributes and motivations of tattoo wearers and onto the social interactions surrounding them. Moreover, a dramaturgical analysis of tattoos shows the need to properly differentiate between tattoos that are always visible and those that can be concealed. I end by offering a conceptualization of visible tattoos for future sociological research.
- Understanding Crimmigration: Implications for Racial and Ethnic Minorities
Within the United States
- Authors: Felicia Arriaga
Pages: 805 - 812
Abstract: Crimmigration, or the intertwining of criminal and immigration law, allows whether explicitly or implicitly for local law enforcement and increasingly other government agencies, to act as enforcers of both aspects of the law. Increasingly, practices and polices implemented within this realm are characteristic of interior enforcement practices, expanding beyond border enforcement. No longer are these solely the responsibility of federal immigration agents, but now local law enforcement participates in these seemingly hidden initiatives. In the process of this merge, the scope of citizenship and the applicability of certain rights is continuously narrowing in what Juliet Stumpf refers to in The Crimmigration Crisis: Immigrants, Crime, and Sovereign Power as “a society increasingly stratified by flexible conceptions of membership.” To unwind and reform the connections between these two systems requires the treatment of them as components of a larger emphasis on exclusionary social‐control ideology and practices, directed at immigrants and minorities alike.
- The Science of Practice and the Practice of Science: Pierre Bourdieu and
the History of Science
- Authors: Kostas Tampakis
Pages: 813 - 822
Abstract: Pierre Bourdieu is one of the most celebrated and widely known French sociologists of his time. During his long and very productive career, Bourdieu worked not only on very diverse areas of sociology, such as art, religion, the legal system, and education, but also on the culture of the Kabyle, on the marriage strategies of bachelors in Southern France, and on the sociology of the French intellectuals of his era. However, despite his international influence, his work has remained virtually unutilized within most contemporary historiography of science. This article aims to fill this lacuna. After a short presentation of his main theoretical concepts, I discuss Bourdieu's work on scientific practice. I then present his more historically oriented work and finish by suggesting some ways Bourdieu's insights can be useful for history of science.
- More Powerful Forces? Women, Nonviolence, and Mobilization
- Pages: 823 - 835
Abstract: In this survey of studies of women's nonviolent mobilization, I scrutinize “more powerful forces,” the mobilizing forces of marginalized social actors that add to and make possible the development of broad‐based people power. The study of people power has yet to extensively consider the contribution of marginalized social actors. Specifically, I ask: (i) What do women contribute to the development of nonviolent protest power and (ii) What can we learn about mobilizing power, the power of people to protest nonviolently and gain the franchise they seek, when we expand our analytical lens to incorporate women's roles? How do we account for the gendered but often unseen actions taken by marginalized social actors? My focus on women in nonviolent mobilization stems directly from my research on gendered invisibility with an empirical focus on women's gendered socialization. Here, I review how gendered social structures shape women's power of participation and success in nonviolent mobilization.