The Collaborative Labor of Enfranchised Consumers
This chapter talks about media franchising in relation to social networks and other digital environments that have reorganized the contemporary production of culture. Franchising comes into question when faced with new media technologies that apparently put the tools of production in consumer hands, rather than maintaining industrial monopolies. The industries' embrace of production opportunities afforded by the Internet and other digital technologies has arguably negated any specificity the term “franchise” once may have had. The chapter explores several tensions, contradictions, and double meanings surrounding franchising in the contemporary moment, engaging with collaboration as a means of conceptualizing audience participation in industrial structures. It also explains what it means for consumers to become “enfranchised” as participants in the industrial production of culture.
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