Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Livingstone and Jenkins

Sonia Livingstone is a quite well-published, and in media studies, well known researcher on media, audiences, youth and the use of new technology. Some of her more current work engages the concepts audience and public, and go through a wide range of discussions around these ideas and how the development of new media influence them. She approaches this from an angle of European media studies, something which is aquiring if not the status of a different discipline, then definitely a distinctive flavour of debate, discussion and the probing of concepts, ideas and theories which is different from the more sample-directed American version.

Reading Livingstone next to Henry Jenkins' work carries with it a sense of this distinction. Where Jenkins delivers interesting and knowledgeable examples of how new media changes certain interactions between users and the traditional senders, Livingstone chases down the meaning of the changes in a theoretical as well as a socialogical context. This makes reading them in combination interesting, thought-provoking and oddly satisfying, as both hint at lacks and weaknesses with the work of the others, as well as filling out and confirming other parts.

So, let this be the cocktail of the week, a tall glass of Livingstone with a dash of Jenkins, served warm and comfortable and sipped in the presence of an active, connected lap-top, for referencing and curious checks on described phenomena.


Luca said...

That's a nice cocktail indeed. And I'm happy to read it here and now since this year the text books for new media class are Jenkins (fans blogger and gamers)and Livingstone (handbook of New Media), both recently translated into Italian.

Anne said...

Agreed! In my current class on power and everyday life, I've brought up Livingstone's interesting work on publics. In particular, I'm troubled by her observation that while there is much public interaction online, there does not seem to be much public participation in public concerns... Lots to chew on there!