Theorising sharing practice in relation to digital culture

Kennedy, J 2018, 'Theorising sharing practice in relation to digital culture', Media International Australia, vol. 168, no. 1, pp. 108-121.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Theorising sharing practice in relation to digital culture
Author(s) Kennedy, J
Year 2018
Journal name Media International Australia
Volume number 168
Issue number 1
Start page 108
End page 121
Total pages 14
Publisher Sage Publications Ltd.
Abstract Sharing is a distinct form of interaction championed in digital contexts. Yet the term sharing is a site of contestation. There are multiple overlapping imaginaries of sharing, such as sharing as an inherent social norm; sharing as a frictionless form of communication through social technologies; sharing as a fraught practice that, when over-performed, undermines and breaks down relationships and reputations; and sharing as an economic model. Furthermore, the term sharing has been appropriated by specific cultural intermediaries at the cost of understanding the material and affective significance of sharing in everyday life. Yet still, there is no sufficient theory or formalisation of sharing, only reappropriations of existing theories such as gift, reciprocity, knowledge and commodity exchange, and boundary work that partially explain certain practices of sharing to the exclusion of others. Based on this observation, I argue that we are in need of a framework for theorising sharing as it is experienced in the contexts of digital device use. In response to this need, I set out a theory of sharing as a coherent and consistent set of elements, comprising competencies, materiality and symbolic values.
Subject Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) digital media
practice theory
DOI - identifier 10.1177/1329878X18783035
Copyright notice © The Author(s) 2018
ISSN 1329-878X
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