Case studies of Co-creative Labour

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Special Journal issue: International Journal of Cultural Studies Table of Contents for SPECIAL ISSUE: CO-CREATIVE LABOUR: 1 September 2009; Vol. 12, No. 5.


John Banks and Mark Deuze have edited this special issue.


“The term co-creation is used to describe the phenomenon of consumers increasingly participating in the process of making and circulating media content and experiences. Practices of user-created content and user-led innovation are now significant sources of both economic and cultural value. But how should we understand and analyse these value-generating activities? What are the identities and forms of agency that constitute these emerging co-creative relations? Should we define these activities as a form of labour and what are the implications and impacts of co-creative practices on the employment conditions and professional identities of people working in the creative industries? In answering these questions we argue that careful attention must be paid to how the participants themselves (both professional and non-professional, commercial and non-commercial) negotiate and navigate the meanings and possibilities of these emerging co-creative relationships for mutual benefit. Co-creative media production is perhaps a disruptive agent of change that sits uncomfortably with our current understandings and theories of work and labour. The articles in this special issue follow and unpack the often diverse and contradictory ways in which the participants themselves use and remake the social categories of work and labour as they seek to coordinate and contest co-creative media practices.”


  • Amateur experts: International fan labour in Swedish independent music, by Nancy K. Baym and Robert Burnett
  • America Online volunteers: Lessons from an early co-production community, by Hector Postigo
  • Misfortunes, memories and sunsets: Non-professional images in Dutch news media, by Mervi Pantti and Piet Bakker
  • Working for the text: Fan labor and the New Organization, by R.M. Milner
  • The mediation is the message: Italian regionalization of US TV series as co-creational work, by Luca Barra
  • All for love: The Corn fandom, prosumers, and the Chinese way of creating a superstar, by Ling Yang