Amateurism: Exploring its Multiple Meanings in the Age of Film, Video, and Digital Media

Susan Aasman, Tim van der Heijden, Tom Slootweg

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    In the current digital age, media amateurs seem to have taken over a large part of cultural production and revised traditional hierarchies between pro- fessionals and amateurs. This development has been characterized as a form of “mass amateurisation,” or even “mass cultural production.” This present state of affairs is deeply embedded in an ongoing discourse on the value of being an ama- teur. Both in public discourse and in scholarly debates, amateurism has been conceptually categorized as either a self-assigned role or as a label that is con- ferred by others. To explore the multiple meanings of amateurism, this chapter demonstrates how a media historical approach helps to better understand the full complexity of the concept. In addition, we propose that future research can benefit from the development of clear analytical approaches to identify various amateur modes of practice, while also acknowledging the ongoing hybridity of the media amateur.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDigital Roots
    Subtitle of host publicationHistoricizing Media and Communication Concepts of the Digital Age
    EditorsGabriele Balbi, Nelson Ribeiro, Valérie Schafer, Christian Schwarzenegger
    Place of PublicationBerlin & Boston
    PublisherDe Gruyter
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-074028-8
    ISBN (Print)978-3-11-074020-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Publication series

    NameStudies in Digital History and Hermeneutics
    PublisherDe Gruyter
    ISSN (Print)2629-4540
    ISSN (Electronic)2629-4559


    • amateurism
    • amateur media practices
    • hybridity
    • modes of practice


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