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Title: Networked cultural production : filmmaking in the Wreckamovie community
Author: Hjorth, Isis Amelie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 8548
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis challenges core assumptions associated with the peer production of culture using the web-based collaborative film production platform Wreckamovie to understand how peer production works in practice. Active cultural participation is a growing political priority for many governments and cultural bodies, but these priorities are often implemented without a basis in empirical evidence, making it necessary for rigorous scholarship to tackle emerging networked cultural production. Existing work portrays peer production efforts as unrealistically distinct from proprietary, market-based production, incorrectly suggesting that peer production allows distributed, non-monetarily motivated, collaboration between self-selected individuals in hierarchy-free communities. In overcoming these assumptions, this thesis contributes to the development of a consolidated theoretical framework encompassing the complicated and multifaceted nature of networked cultural production. This theoretical framing extends Bourdieu’s theory of cultural production and reconciles it with Becker’s Art Worlds framework, and further embeds and draws on Benkler’s notion of commons-based peer production. Concretely, this research tackles the emergence of new collaborative production models enabled by networked technologies, and theorizes the tensions and challenges characterizing such production forms. Secondly, this thesis redefines cultural participation and considers the divisions of labour in online filmmaking materializing from the interactions between professional and non-professional filmmakers. Finally, this study considers the social economies surrounding networked cultural production, including crowdfunding, and characterizes associated conversions of capital, such as the conversion of symbolic capital into financial capital. Methodologically, this thesis employs an embedded case study strategy. It examines four feature film productions facilitated by the online platform Wreckamovie, as well as the online community within which these productions are embedded. The four production cases have completed all production stages, and have resulted in completed cultural goods during the course of data collection. This study’s findings were derived from two and half years of participant observations, interviews with 29 Wreckamovie community and production members, and the examination of archived production-related discourses (2006-2013). Ultimately, this study makes concrete proposals towards a theory of networked cultural production with clear policy implications.
Supervisor: Meyer, Eric T.; Eynon, Rebecca Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology ; Internet research ; Internet and everyday life ; Sociology of cultural production ; crowdsourcing ; peer production ; cultural capital ; social capital ; symbolic capital ; ; ethnography ; networked cultural production ; Bourdieu ; conversion of capital ; digital labour ; online communities ; crowdfunding ; cultural industries ; Benkler ; art worlds ; embedded case study ; Iron Sky ; Star Wreck 2pi ; collaborative online platform ; Web 2.0 ; Cultural Sociology ; participant observation