Case Study in Oppositional Reading (70 Points)
For this assignment, you will write a 3- to 4-page argumentative essay explaining, analyzing, and critically assessing a way (or ways) in which the production of content by end-users of new media devices and services expands the opportunities for readers and audiences to contribute to the social construction of reality and the social integration of individuals.
Some obvious sources of analysis include: Twitter, Facebook, and peer-to-peer file sharing. Make sure that you choose a specific media product or service that is peer-produced by users of these kinds of networks and its devices. For example, you might use MySpace.com and the way that the service enables musicians to distribute music, merchandise, information, etc. Make sure that you choose a specific resource for investigation (e.g., an artist or a band).
In the critical phase of your essay, apply the active audience theory to your example in the new media context. To what extent, if at all, does your example help to explain the general potential of the new media to expand the force of audience contributions to the social construction of reality? Address at least two counterarguments in your analysis.
Read the following article that explores the concern of some media analysts that the Internet has the unfortunate side effect of isolating individual users:
The arguments advanced in this article attempt to demonstrate that even if readers and audiences are able to contribute to socialization and the social construction of reality, they do so in a way that radically isolates them from everyone else, except those persons who are members of a very small community. Address this counterargument with respect to the focus of the activity you describe in your essay. Do you think your example is susceptible to the concerns expressed by the author of this article? Why?
Your paper must:
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