Jenkins, "Introduction: Worship at the altar of convergence" & "Buying into American Idol" (Selections from Convergence Culture)
Andrejevic, Mark. "Three Dimensions of iCulture"
1. What does Jenkins mean by the terms, "convergence," "participatory culture" and "collective intelligence"?
2. What is the role of individuals "active participation" in convergence culture, according to Jenkins? Do you agree?
3. What does Jenkins mean when he describes media convergence as both a "top-down corporate-driven process and a bottom-up consumer-driven process"? As such, what are the possibilities and limitations of media convergence for democracy, according to Jenkins? Do you agree?
4. How does American Idol demonstrate these possibilities and limitations? What are some examples from the show? Can you think of examples from other media?
5. How does Andrejevic's perspective on media participation and interactivity differ from that of Jenkins? Does he believe that interactivity offers democratic potential? Do you agree?
6. Andrejevic reflects on why individuals are drawn to interactivity, discussing its "promise" and appeal. What are some of the reasons he notes? What is his assessment?
7. Why does Andrejevic question the kinds of "freedom" accessible through interactivity?
8. What examples does Andrejevic offer to demonstrate the limitations of the "freedom" accessible through commercialized forms of interactivity? What do you think of this? Can you think of other examples?