Masterclass: Participation and Voice in Everyday Culture (15 May, 2014)

Participation and Voice in Everyday Culture

Masterclass RMeS and NICA

Date: 15 May 2014
Time: 12 – 17 hrs
Venue: Utrecht, Drift 25, 2.04 (Entrance via UB). Please note that the venue has changed!
Speakers: Prof. dr. Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Prof. dr. Eggo Mueller, Utrecht University
Open to: PhD researchers and Research Master students who are a member of RMeS or NICA, or another National Graduate Research School (after consideration)
Fee (non-members): €50
Credits: 1 ECTS
Coordination: RMeS/prof. Muller & prof. Couldry
Registration: Maximum participants in the event:  15 – Register before: 1 May 2014 – Register here


12 AM  Doors open; coffee, tea & sandwiches

12.45  Welcome by Prof. dr. José van Dijck, Director RMeS

1 – 2:45 PM Masterclass Prof. Eggo Mueller:  “Participation Rituals”

In the early days of digital media and the Internet, ‘participation’ has become a buzzword with only positive connotations. For example, YouTube in its early days was celebrated as a poster boy of the participatory culture online.  Since the commercial domestication (normalization?) of Web 2.0, more and more scholars argue that ‘participation’ in the ‘new online economy’ (Andrejevic; Fuchs) is a new form of exploitation, more sophisticated than any form of exploitation before. Against this background, we will discuss the forms of governance of selected examples of participatory media (o.a.  social TV; interactive documentary; social media). The question that this part of the seminar wants to raise is whether concepts of ‘exploitation’ are sufficient and fruitful to understand the participation rituals in our contemporary media culture.

2:45 – 3: 15 PM  Tea/coffee break

3:15 – 5: 00 PM: Masterclass by prof. Nick Couldry: “Voice and Listening”

This workshop will explore the concept of ‘voice’ and the related concept of ‘listening’ as both theoretical contributions and as the basis of empirical research in relation to everyday life in neoliberal democracies and more under other conditions of power across the world. It will examine how voice, and deprivation of voice, can be studied sociologically, drawing on examples from the global north and global south. Participants are encouraged who are either interested in using these concepts in their own research and/or are already conducting research that operationalizes them.

Preparation and readings:

Set Readings to prepare:

Couldry, N. (2010) Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics After Neoliberalism. London: Sage, chapters 1 and 6 (also read chapter 5 if interested in philosophical background).

Dreher, T. (2009) ‘Listening Across Difference: Media and Multiculturalism beyond the politics of voice’, Continuum 23(4): 445-458.

Background readings

Bickford, S. (1996) The Dissonance of Democracy:  Listening, Conflict and Democracy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Chapter 1

MacNamara, J. (2013) ‘Beyond Voice: Audience-Making and the work and “architecture of listening” as new media literacies’, Continuum 27(1): 160-175.


Will be confirmed.

Credits & certificate

Certificates of participation and credits are available upon request after the event. Event coordinators will decide whether the participant has fulfilled all requirements for the ECTS. Please direct your request to and include the postal address you want the certificate send to. Note: the certificate itself is not valid as ECTS, you  need to validate it yourself at your local Graduate School.