Political Economy and the Promise of Participatory Media
Juha Suoranta & Tere Vadén
University of Tampere, Finland
By the notion of Wikiworld we refer both to the technical and social spheres of the Internet; more specifically to those social formations and political struggles that can be enforced by the possibilities of the Net. The Wikiworld is built through the “collaborative turn,” or what is called participatory culture, which includes relatively low barriers to civic engagement and activism, artistic and other sorts of expression, easy access for creating and sharing one’s outputs with others, peer to peer relations and informal mentorship as well as new forms of socialization, social connections, collectivism and solidarity (see Jenkins et al. 2006). And more than that: from our point of view the Wikiworld, and its phenomena, is not sufficiently scrutinized if not seen in the larger sociopolitical context through the lens of radical political economy. From this angle the Wikiworld is also an ideological battlefield, and the stakes are high: in question are the very ways in which we conceive of the digital sphere and its physical counterparts.