Henry Jenkins, the Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT and pop-cultural studies guru, dissects the ways in which YouTube affects our society, from YouTube’s dependence on social-networking...

Henry Jenkins, the Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT and pop-cultural studies guru, dissects the ways in which YouTube affects our society, from YouTube’s dependence on social-networking sites to how “we are finding clips that gain greater visibility through YouTube than they achieved via the broadcast and cable channels from which they originated.” He breaks it down to nine “big-ideas”.

8. In the age of YouTube, social networking emerges as one of the important social skills and cultural competencies that young people need to acquire if they are going to become meaningful participants in the culture around them. We need to be concerned with the participation gap as much as we are concerned with the digital divide. The digital divide has to do with access to technology; the participation gap has to do with access to cultural experiences and the skills that people acquire through their participation within ongoing online communities and social networks.

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