In search of prosumption: Youth and the new media in Hong Kong

Donna Chu

Abstract


This study addresses three research questions that aim to describe the media use patterns of young people in Hong Kong. In particular, four dimensions of media use are taken as preliminary indicators to determine whether young people fit the popular stereotype of active Internet users. The dimensions include their reasons for going online, their initiative for information management, their production of content, and their collaboration and sharing activities on the Internet.

A self-administered semi-structured questionnaire was distributed to 649 sixth formers in 11 secondary schools in Hong Kong between December 2008 and February 2009. The survey found little support for popular claims that celebrate the active roles of participants in the new media culture. Despite growing up “digitally,” the young people in this study did not demonstrate markedly different characteristics in their media use. Indeed, instead of making the most out of the new media environment as “prosumers,” they remained passive consumers in most cases. These findings call for a more critical evaluation of terms such as “prosumption,” and of assumptions about generational differences in media use.

Keywords


New media, Youth, Prosumption

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v15i2.2772



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