Convergence Culture

Where Old and New Media Collide

368 pages

September, 2008

ISBN: 9780814742952

$21.25

Paper

Also available in

Subjects:

Media Studies

Author

Henry Jenkins is Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education at USC. He is author of five books, most recently Convergence Culture (2008), Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers (2006), The Wow Climax (2006), all available from NYU Press, and is co-author or editor of eight other books on media and communication.

All books by Henry Jenkins

Henry Jenkins at Authors@Google (video)

Winner of the 2007 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award

2007 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Convergence Culture maps a new territory: where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the power of the consumer interact in unpredictable ways.

Henry Jenkins, one of America’s most respected media analysts, delves beneath the new media hype to uncover the important cultural transformations that are taking place as media converge. He takes us into the secret world of Survivor Spoilers, where avid internet users pool their knowledge to unearth the show’s secrets before they are revealed on the air. He introduces us to young Harry Potter fans who are writing their own Hogwarts tales while executives at Warner Brothers struggle for control of their franchise. He shows us how The Matrix has pushed transmedia storytelling to new levels, creating a fictional world where consumers track down bits of the story across multiple media channels.Jenkins argues that struggles over convergence will redefine the face of American popular culture. Industry leaders see opportunities to direct content across many channels to increase revenue and broaden markets. At the same time, consumers envision a liberated public sphere, free of network controls, in a decentralized media environment. Sometimes corporate and grassroots efforts reinforce each other, creating closer, more rewarding relations between media producers and consumers. Sometimes these two forces are at war.

Jenkins provides a riveting introduction to the world where every story gets told and every brand gets sold across multiple media platforms. He explains the cultural shift that is occurring as consumers fight for control across disparate channels, changing the way we do business, elect our leaders, and educate our children.

Reviews

  • “Remarkable . . . Jenkins’ insights are gripping and his prose is surprisingly entertaining and lucid for a book that is, at its core, intellectually rigorous . . . Jenkins’ impressive ability to break down complex concepts into readable prose makes this study vital and engaging.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Jenkins is an astute observer of media culture and his insights are spot-on.”

    The Los Angeles Times

  • “For any Sony PS3 execs out there wondering why their technological masterpiece is being ridiculed by customers before its even released . . . Convergence Culture is a must read . . . Jenkins offers numerous insights on how technology and media professionals can forge better relationships with their customers.”

    Slashdot

  • “;Jenkins tries to bring clarity to cultural changes that are melting and morphing into new shapes on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly basis. Convergence Culture provides a view that looks at the restless ocean and tracks the currents rather than just looking at the individual rocks on the beach.”

    The McClatchy Newspapers

  • “;One of those rare works that is closer to an operating system than a traditional book: it’s a platform that people will be building on for years to come. What’s more, the book happens to be a briskly entertaining read—as startling, inventive, and witty as the culture it documents. It should be mandatory reading for anyone trying to make sense of today’s popular culture—but thankfully, a book this fun to read doesn’t need a mandate.”

    —Steven Johnson, author of the national bestseller, Everything Bad Is Good For You

  • “;I thought I knew twenty-first century pop media until I read Henry Jenkins. The fresh research and radical insights in Convergence Culture deserve a wide and thoughtful readership. Bring on the monolithic block of eyeballs”

    —Bruce Sterling, author, blogger, visionary

  • “The standard convergence narrative of recent years presents media concentration as a threat both to the diversity of communication channels and to individuals’ opportunities to engage in public discourse. A respected and well-established media scholar, Jenkins here counters such pessimistic perspectives on the brave new media world with theoretical and evidentiary attestations to the growing power of individuals and grassroots groups to affect the larger media landscape.”

    Choice

  • “;Jenkins offers crucial insight into an unexpected and unforeseen future. Unlike most predictions about how New Media will shape the world in which we live, the reality is turning out far stranger and more interesting than we might have imagined. The social implications of this change could be staggering.”

    —Will Wright, creator of SimCity and The Sims