Exploring its Multiple Meanings in the Age of Film, Video, and Digital Media10.1515/9783110740202.
In the current digital age, media amateurs seem to have taken over a large part of cultural production and revised traditional hierarchies between professionals and amateurs. This development has been characterized as a form of “mass amateurisation,” or even “mass cultural production.” This present state of affairs is deeply embedded in an ongoing discourse on the value of being an amateur. Both in public discourse and in scholarly debates, amateurism has been conceptually categorized as either a self-assigned role or as a label that is conferred by others. To explore the multiple meanings of amateurism, this chapter demonstrates how a media historical approach helps to better understand the full complexity of the concept. In addition, we propose that future research can benefit from the development of clear analytical approaches to identify various amateur modes of practice, while also acknowledging the ongoing hybridity of the media amateur.