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Young Canadians’ apprenticeship labour in user-generated content

Shepherd, Tamara (2013) Young Canadians’ apprenticeship labour in user-generated content. Canadian Journal of Communication, 38 (1). pp. 35-55. ISSN 0705-3657

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This article introduces a political-economic framework for analyzing young people’s production of user-generated content (UGC) as a kind of apprenticeship labour. Based on case studies of four young Montréalers engaged in creating user-generated content, the author developed the apprenticeship-type model of UGC labour to denote a process by which online immaterial labour or “free labour” coincides with self-directed and informal job training, channelled specifically toward a career in the creative industries. The 20- to 24-year-old participants’ online activity is seen as a non-remunerated training ground, driven by the promise of notoriety that begets autonomous future employment in areas such as fashion, music, and journalism. Throughout this process, young people must constantly negotiate their autonomy; negotiated autonomy is precisely what they are apprenticing into through UGC production, where uncertainty and flexibility serve as the hallmarks of new media working conditions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Canadian Journal of Communication Corporation
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2014 14:54
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:45
Funders: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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