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

Susan Aasman, T. van der Heijden, Tom Slootweg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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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 Oldenbourg
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783110740202
ISBN (Print)9783110739886
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2021

Publication series

SeriesStudies in Digital History and Hermeneutics


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


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