Authorship Through Networks

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  • Doctorate Thesis - Authorship through network – A study of the interactive authoring processes of writing in communication networks. Bia Martins.

(Doctorate in Communication Sciences) – School of Communication and Arts, São Paulo University, 2012. (text is in Portuguese)


Communication networks have driven a significant displacement in the authorship processes of writing, which acquire a new dynamic in the digital media, presenting themselves more and more like an interactive action between different creation agents. Based on the thought of Michel Foucault on the subject of authorship, this thesis explores the meaning of the sliding position of the author or author-function as the philosopher proposes, currently structured in a network of interactions. In order to build a reflection on this phenomenon, we start from the research on the historicity of the concept of authorship, trying to explore the various constitutions of the social practices of text production through history, from Antiquity to the present electronic networks times. In this route, Modernity is recognized as the specific period in which the authoring process acquires a more individual-centered setting, time when the notion of closed and proprietary work gains space. Taking the formation of history as a complex process in which correlate several dimensions of events, some aspects that articulate to this question are detailed in the form of intertexts. Thus, in different chapters are discussed the following themes: the specificities of digital media language and its implications for the authorship issue; the changes in the forms of creation and circulation of intellectual goods brought about by the advent of cognitive capitalism; new forms of discursive textual production validation in electronic publications that are being created as alternatives to centralized publishing model typical of print medium. Finally, in order to bring empirical elements for the research, were conducted sites participant observation studies and observational ones on Wikipedia and Overmundo, and also developed a blog and a wiki experiment specially for the research. Grounded on these studies, a typology of interactive authoring network was proposed, namely the collaborative one, when the authorship process is done throughout the work of two or more people interacting in the preparation of a text in a cooperative way, and the dialogic one, when a dialogic interaction between the main text and interventions in the form of comments, making the end a whole discourse, can be observed. Thus, through the articulation of different theoretical reflections with empirical research, we tried to make a comprehensive study of the broad phenomenon of interactive authoring in communication networks.

Keywords: history of authorship; digital writing; interactive authoring; text technologies; communication networks, cognitive capitalism; Wikipedia; Overmundo.