Convergence is one of the most pervasive – but also divisive – concepts within contemporary media studies (Hay & Couldry 2011). First discussed in the 1970s and ‘80s by ‘prophets’ of the field such as Ithiel de Sola Pool, the term was initially used to describe the blurring of lines between previously distinct media technologies (Jenkins 2006). As such, in the 1990s, it became primarily associated with the macro-phenomenon of digitization and the idea that the unprecedented possibility of converting all media objects into a shared mathematical language of 0s and 1s allowed for the creation of new convergent meta-devices that might store, transmit and receive all kinds of media content (Storsul & Fagerjord 2010). More recently, however, the term has variously been applied to economic, regulatory, political and even historical developments, leading to widespread confusion as to its ‘true’ meaning and growing scepticism as to its usefulness as a conceptual lens (Allen 2017, Balbi 2017). Nevertheless, a number of particularly dominant narratives of convergence may be distinguished and the term can and has been productively applied to the analysis of citizen media. Consequently, this entry will concentrate on highlighting what are generally referred to as ‘technological’ and ‘cultural’ processes of convergence and, with reference to concrete case-studies (e.g. Miekle & Young 2011, Wessels 2011), critiquing their relevance to the study of citizen-led interventions in the media sphere.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media|
|Editors||Mona Baker, Bolette Blaagaard, Henry Jones, Luis Pérez-González|
|Place of Publication||London and New York|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Oct 2020|
|Name||Critical perspectives on Citizen Media|
|Publisher||Routledge / Taylor and Francis|