Multi-layered Identities by Social Media and Prosumption Practices in Digital and Participatory Communication

  • Sunny Sui-kwong Lam The Open University of Hong Kong
Keywords: Digital communication, prosumption, multi-layered identities, video ethnography, transmedia


Digital and social media systems/environments are a result of collective knowledge by the wisdom of crowds and Web 2.0 participatory cultures. They reveal the digital convergence of media, communication and content production/consumption (prosumption) by mediation, remediation and mediatization. Especially, prosumption activities by the complexity of user agency in social media create user-generated content and context as new sources of information flow among online and offline communities. Prosumers’ social media practices not only show their creativity and identity dynamics but also educate about brands, products and services, lifestyles and personalities, as well as social and political issues among online communities by interactive conversations and transmedia storytelling. Their active and critical participations facilitate a restructuring of the power/knowledge relationship between production and consumption, and advocate a new global economic form of prosumer capitalism within social media ecosystems. This article explores a study of prosumption dynamics via users-as-prosumers’ practices and perceptions and reactions toward digital advertising and marketing in social media and digital communication. Besides, it exemplifies the use of business and video ethnography to empirically investigate prosumers’ behaviors and multi-layered identities via everyday social media practices.


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