The hybridisation of culture
Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunicaton Vrije Universiteit Brussel Brussels, Belgium
(Topic: Mediation of Cultures)
The increasing use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the creation, preservation, distribution and communication of cultural content goes along with an implosion of traditional concepts as 'time', 'space' and 'meaning' (McLuhan, Baudrillard). In the cultural domain this implosion leads to a convergence of formerly separated spheres. Indeed in the cultural domain ?networked by means of ICT? institutions, roles, identities, practices and actors are reformed and rebuild into new hybrid forms. The virtual is interlinked with the real, mediated culture is mixed with non-mediated culture, fiction with reality, private participation with public participation, production roles with consumption roles.
In this paper the hybridisation of culture will be analysed and framed into the conceptual notion of 'implosion'. The paper is based on qualitative research on the hybrid use of cultural content by youngsters. As a generation of digital natives they domesticated hybrid practices in their cultural participation patterns, and interpret the convergence of formerly seperated spheres less problematic than older generations. Cultural participation of digital natives is characterised by a mix between digital and analogue mediated cultural content and non-mediated culture.
Consequently the hybridisation of culture forces us to rethink the frameworks by which we understand, classify and support cultural creation and participation. Cultural creators, mediators, participants and policy makers will have to adapt to this networked and hybrid cultural sphere.