Youth Technoculture: From Aesthetics to Politics


Fake, mods, gaming, remix... these terms refer to modes of access, linked to digital convergence, but above all to capacities for action on cultural content, as well as on creative capacities, made possible thanks to ICTs. The media cultures of the audiovisual era are thus succeeded by the techno cultures of the digital era, in which the smartphone is becoming the first cultural terminal. These changes have a profound influence on the ways in which young people build their lives, but also on social ties. What do fansubbing and media activism have in common? What education do these changes require? These are some of the questions Youth Technoculture: From Aesthetics to Politics tries to answer.

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Sylvie Octobre (PhD, 1996, Ëcole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, France) is researcher at the Département des études, de la prospective et des statistiques of the French Ministry of Culture, and Research Fellow at Centre Max Weber-ENS Lyon/CNRS, France. She has published many articles and books, including (with Vincenzo Cicchelli) Aesthetico-Cultural Cosmopolitanism and French Youth: The Taste of the World (Palgrave, 2018).
Foreword: Understanding Our Global Cultural World
  Modesto Gayo

Introduction: From Mediaculture to Technoculture
1 From Mediaculture to Technoculture
2 Technocultural Mutations and Social Mutations
3 Going beyond Moral Panic
4 The New Barbarians

1 Culture in a Technological World
Major Fears Resurface
1 The Fear of Technocultural Mutations
 1.1 Convergence, Mon Amour
 1.2 Globalizing Hyperculture
 1.3 From Works of Art to Cultural Contents
2 The End of Culture?
 2.1 The Destructive Power of Technological Hegemony?
 2.2 The Loss of the Tangible
 2.3 Behind Technological Change, Cultural Shifts
3 The World of Machines
 3.1 Computational Dynamics
 3.2 The Past Predicts the Future; or, Birds of a Feather Stick Together
 3.3 The Cultural Promise of Big Data

2 The Cult of Participation
1 The Pro-am: A Form of Commitment in the Technocultural Regime
 1.1 The Roots of The Pro-am: The Poacher
 1.2 The Pro-am Revolution
2 Collective Intelligence and Community
2.1 What Is Collective Intelligence?
2.2 Collective Intelligence and Cultural Expertise
3 The Culture of Doing
 3.1 Compensatory Skills
 3.2 Creative Remixing
4 A New Ecology of Attention
 4.1 In Search of Lost Attention Spans
 4.2 In Praise of Free-Floating Attention and the Illusion of Multitasking
 4.3 Hyper Attention: An Autopsy

3 The Impact of Youth Technoculture on Cultural Myths
1 Expressiveness
 1.1 Expressive Individualism
 1.2 The Rise of Experimentation
2 Emotions First and Foremost
 2.1 Peak Experiences
 2.2 Presentification
3 Mobility as Value
 3.1 The Call to Mobility
 3.2 Aesthetico-Cultural Cosmopolitanism
 3.3 A New Criterion for Ranking
4 Additive Comprehension
 4.1 Putting Together the Collaborative Transmedia Puzzle
 4.2 The Reputation Filter

4 How Technoculture Shapes Youth Norms
1 Autonomy, an Ambiguous Standard
 1.1 Cultural Consumption: The First Steps towards Autonomy
 1.2 Private and Public Autonomy
 1.3 The Framework of Cultural Autonomy and Its Inner Tensions
2 Norms of Engagement, Relation and Selection
 2.1 The Importance of Choice
 2.2 From Relationships to the Proximity Effect
 2.3 What Engagement Signifies
3 The Vices and Virtues of Eclecticism
 3.1 Revisiting Youth Omnivorism
 3.2 The Challenge of Eclecticism

5 Technoculture, Education and Self-Education
1 Is Technoculture an Alternative Form of Education?
 1.1 A “real-world” Education
 1.2 The Return of Aesthetics
 1.3 Modes of Learning and Affinity Spaces
2 The Challenge of Transliteracy
 2.1 Literacy, Media Literacy and Digital Literacy
 2.2 The Components of Transliteracy
 2.3 A Weapon against Bullshit
3 Mediation and Remediation
 3.1 A New Organizing Principle for Knowledge?
 3.2 Self-Organization and Remediation

6 Technological and Cultural Fault Lines
1 Technocultural Fault Lines
 1.1 The Access Divide
 1.2 The Usage Divide
 1.3 The Transferability Divide
 1.4 The Reflexive Capacity Divide
2 A Universe Where Important Inequalities Persist
 2.1 An Argument against “the tribalization of youth culture”
 2.2 Factoring in Gender
 2.3 Cumulative Inequalities?

7 The Political and Ethical Implications of Youth Technoculture
1 Technoculture Is (Inherently) Political
 1.1 Becoming a Political Actor in the Era of Technoculture
 1.2 Towards a Technocultural Public and Political Space
 1.3 The Technocultural Regime Threatened by Rumors
 1.4 Far from the Technocultural Crowd
2 Political Activism and Technoculture
2.1 Political and Cultural Media Activism
2.2 Political and Cultural Hacktivism
3 Democracy and Technoculture
3.1 Democracy and Polyphonic Regimes of Truth
3.2 Knowledge Societies and Cognitive Bubbles
3.3 Neo-Democracy or Democracy Threatened by Technoculture

Conclusion: Resisting the Appeal of Worst-Case Scenarios
1 A Twofold Movement of Creativity and Diversity
2 Reconfiguring Public Space
3 Rejecting Pessimism


The book offers a valuable and original contribution to the field of youth culture studies and will be relevant to researchers, undergraduate, and postgraduate students in sociology, cultural studies, political science, and education studies.
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