Mediatized Skill: How Capabilities With Application Software Are Collectively Performed, Perceived, and Organized as Part of Contemporary Media Practices

Frédérik Lesage


By combining elements from theories of media practice, genre, and mediatization, I argue that perceiving, performing, and organizing skills are interwoven with media, and such interweaving has important implications for the practical politics of contemporary media practices. In the first section, I outline a conceptual framework for investigating mediatized skills by focusing on three interrelated factors: mediation, genrefication, and mediatization. In the second section, I apply this framework to a case study of YouTubing Photoshop. Through an analysis of the findings, I show how photoshopping can be understood as a mediatized skill in which various capabilities are performed with tools, technologies, and symbolic content that typify a certain kind of skill and skillful actor. In the concluding discussion, I argue that paying attention to mediatized skills can not only help to better understand what capabilities are valued in media practices that involve application software but also identify alternative genres that expand and diversify who and what digital media are for.


skill, media practice, genre, digital media, software, YouTube, Photoshop

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