Online Entertainment| Cross-Cultural Comparisons of User-Generated Content: An Analytical Framework

Limor Shifman


This article presents a broad framework for the cross-cultural analysis of user-generated content (UGC). Building on veteran concepts used in comparative studies, as well as on literature focusing on attributes unique to UGC, I suggest that global and local aspects of digital cultures can be identified by analyzing four dimensions: values, frames, emotions, and communicative stances. A further principle is using genres as prisms through which the four dimensions are evaluated. The utility of this framework is demonstrated through a cross-linguistic analysis of two genres: notecard confessions and recut trailers. An examination of the manifestations of these genres in English, Arabic, Spanish, German, and Chinese provided insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed model. In particular, I argue that previous theories of values should be reconsidered when analyzing the new landscape of UGC, because they fail to fully account for the multifaceted and fragmented ideals embedded in these content types.


comparative analysis, globalization, notecard confessions, recut trailers, user-generated content

Full Text: