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Digital Reading:from Cultural Consumption to Meaning Production

Author: ShenWei
Tutor: MeiQiongLin
School: Wuhan University
Course: Communication
Keywords: Digital reading Cultural consumption Meaning production Psychological need Rationality
CLC: G206
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 354
Quote: 0
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With the popularity of digital technology and the advent of new media, man is now entering a digital reading era all the way through the print media, electronic media and digital media period. Owing to the unprecedented personalization in digital reading, readers have been offered a wide range of reading channels and the contents have been diversified, thus offering readers more alternatives. People’s reading habits have also changed. With easier access to information, more entertaining information is conveyed through channels of sound, image and video. In the meantime, people shift their reading materials from traditional books to new media such as the internet, mobile phones and handheld readers. To some extent, digital reading has now become a way of life. It caters to the psychological needs of modern people, and agrees with the consumptive culture in the new-media age, making reading unprecedentedly popular among the mass. In a word, digital reading has undoubtedly made a huge impact on human reading history.But together with its prosperity, digital reading also triggers a lot of criticism among the mass. It is blamed for being too image-oriented, too diversified in form, and too entertaining in taste, depriving man of our ability to focus and to think in depth, thus leading us to an era of reading crisis and cultural crisis. Its excessice dependednce on the media technology, the significant impact it makes on the tradional reading and trational culture, as well as the psychological imbalance it causes among people has also become important practical problems. So how to look upon its rationality in the new media era and the direction it points to in our reading culture have been the core questions to deel with in this paper.This paper seeks to answer these questions by discussing digital reading in the vision of human reading history with the background of cultural consumption. While affirming the richness, interactivity and diversity of digital reading, the author lays the emphasis on the process of meaning production mechanisms and psychological needs of readers. The author also attempts to expound the relationship between the digital reading and the interdependent media technology, and then further discusses the cultural rationality of digital reading to re-exam its significance in the modern digital era in China.Though digital reading suffers some bad names of being somewhat shallow and over-entertaining, it is, however, the inevitable outcome of the economic development, technology development and cultural development of the new-media era. Digital reading behavior has now become an indispensable part in our digital way of living. Therefore there is no need to see it as a scourge. On the contrary, we should take the positive attitude and reinforce its special meaning to China in the socially and culturally transformative era, guiding digital reading to better serve and carry forward China’s excellent cultural heritage.

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CLC: > Culture, science,education, sports > Information and knowledge dissemination > Information and communication theory > Communication Theory
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