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Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1757-2681
  • E-ISSN: 1757-269X


When it comes to the revolutionary promise of participatory media, the challenge faced by the proponents and practitioners of a Media Studies 2.0 is not to assert (in all too familiar rhetoric) that, everything has changed, but rather to explain why, even in the face of dramatic technological transformation, power relations remain largely unaltered. This essay explores some of the ways in which the social context has shifted to absorb and deflect the critical potential of interactive media and traces the outlines of a critical project for Media Studies in the digital era. In particular, it argues that the automatic equation of interactivity with political critique and democratic empowerment represents an outdated way of thinking about the social role of information and communication technologies. Interactivity isn't automatically political it needs to be political if it is to live up to its promised potential. Consequently, critical Media Studies needs to develop new practices of sense making, an updated theory of exploitation, and a political economy for the digital era.


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