The rise of 'sharing' in communication and media studies
John, Nicholas A.;
In May 2014, a group of scholars came together to discuss sharing and its meanings in the digital era. Some of these scholars had been enquiring into the meaning of sharing for some time; others saw the call for papers for a conference on the topic of sharing as an opportunity to frame their work in terms of a concept that offered the potential for new insights and fresh paths of analysis. All of them presented rich analyses and critiques of practices of sharing and of the rhetoric of the word "sharing." These analyses sometimes overlapped in their conceptualizations of sharing, and sometimes they complemented or even challenged one another. Taken together, though, they all showed that there is a need—and a desire—to get to grips with sharing, if only because of the word's seeming omnipresence in a wide range of digital and non-digital contexts. This special issue showcases some of the work presented at the ICA pre-conference, Sharing: A Keyword for the Digital Age.