Liquid Life, Convergence Culture and Media Work
Life today has become analogous with work – and it increasingly displays all the contemporary characteristics of work in what has been described as the ‘new capitalism’: permanent flux, constant change, and structural indeterminacy. Zygmunt Bauman thus argues how we are all living a ‘liquid’ life, which is “a precarious life, lived under conditions of constant uncertainty.” In liquid life, the modern categories of production (work) and consumption (life) have converged, which trend is particularly visible in our almost constant and concurrent immersion in media. According to Henry Jenkins, these are the conditions of an emerging convergence culture. In this paper these trends will be explored in detail, coupling insights from contemporary social theory, new media studies and popular culture to show how our modern conceptions of media, culture and society have modernized, and how the emerging media ecosystem can be illuminated by setting it against the ways in which those at the forefront of these cultural and technological changes negotiate their professional identity: the mediaworkers.
liquid modernity, social theory, new media, digital culture, media studies
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