Independent Podcasting as a Specific Online Participative Subculture: a case study of Montreals podcasters


Based on a theoretical framework grounded in a sociological analysis of usage and the subculture paradigmatic approach of Cultural Studies, this paper analyzes the socio-cultural dynamic of online participation through the use of a technological device in a digitally literate community, namely independent podcasters. I argue that independent podcasting should not be understood as either a form of radio-to-go or a simple online delivery system. Drawing on data collected in a three-year period of research within the Montreal (Canada) podcasting community, I propose that independent audio podcasting is a specific form of online participation, with its own subcultural logic and a unique style that is completely different from the institutional and traditional radio model. To present the specificity of the podcasting subculture, this paper demonstrates how a podcasts distinctive style is formed, through a singular level of familiarity among users, the subversion of lexical radio conventions and the influence of DJing and blogging on podcasters practices. This paper illustrates the stylistic repertoire of Montreals independent podcasters based on an online practice on the fringe of the mainstream media production model, specifically with regard to commercial radio.


podcasting; independent podcasting; usage; subculture

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