New Publication: Citizen Media and Practice
Edited by Hilde C. Stephansen & Emiliano Treré
Paperback: ISBN: 978-1-13-857184-6
Hardback: ISBN: 978-1-13-857182-2
Chapter 1 | Practice what you preach? Currents, connections, and challenges in theorizing citizen media and practice
Hilde C. Stephansen & Emiliano Treré
This chapter explores the past, assesses the present, and delineates the future of a media practice approach to citizen media. The first section provides an extensive overview of the different currents in research on media practices, identifying the antecedents of the media practice approach in several theoretical traditions and highlighting possible points of convergence between them. Hence, we ground the roots of the practice approach in Latin American communication and media studies, we scrutinize Couldry’s conceptualization in connection to theories of practices within the social sciences, and we examine audience research, media anthropology, social movement studies, citizen and alternative media, and Communication for Development and Social Change. The second section takes stock of the current ‘state of the art’ of practice-focused research on citizen and activist media and develops a critical assessment of how the concept of media practices has been used in recent literature, identifying key strengths and shortcomings. In this section, we also discuss the integration of media practices with other concepts, such as mediation, mediatization, media ecologies, media archeology, media imaginaries, and the public sphere. The third section delineates future directions for research on citizen media and practice, reflecting on some of the challenges facing this growing interdisciplinary field. Here, we illustrate how the media practice approach provides a powerful framework for researching the pressing challenges posed by mediatization and datafication. Further, we highlight the need for deeper theoretical engagement, underline the necessity of dialogue between different traditions, and point out some unresolved issues and limitations. The chapter concludes with an outline of the contributions to this edited collection.