Awards, honours and prizes: 'a cultural value stock exchange' for media producers and audiences

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In The Field of Cultural of Production, Pierre Bourdieu asserts that a work is not made once, or twice even, but by everybody who is interested in it and this would certainly seem to be true of awards, honours and prizes. (1993:111)
In a culture which values prestige so highly, awards have become an increasingly prominent practice. Over the last twenty years a number of awards have sprung up to recognise the emergence of transmedia, from the Prix Ars Electronica and the Flash Film Festival, to the Webbys and Movie Viral Awards. These awards reflect the interests of a diverse range of stakeholders in the new field of transmedia including professional academies, agencies and associations for advertising, promotion and entertainment, as well as media technology-sponsored awards, Net art events, web design sites, film festivals and fan communities. And all, in one way or another, are interested in ‘speaking’ about transmedia, articulating what it is, and what it can be.
Awards play their part in asserting shaping and the value and, therefore, the meaning of these emergent media forms in a number of ways: as a channel of communication, both inwards and outwards for the industry and its institutions; as a form of short-hand communication that audiences use to inform their media consumption; and as a measure of cultural impact and what Bourdieu refers to as cultural ‘consecration’. (1993:38)
Drawing on both field work and interviews, this paper will undertake an archaeological investigation of transmedia awards that have emerged over this time, examining their origins, their underlying rationale as well as how they operate in relation to one another. The paper will suggest that the work of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu can be usefully applied in analysing the role awards have developed as a ‘cultural value stock exchange’ (Bourdieu, 1993:137)
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2014
EventProducers and Audiences International Conference - Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Duration: 20 Mar 201420 Mar 2014


ConferenceProducers and Audiences International Conference


  • Key words: Awards; transmedia; stakeholders; cultural value; consecration; media archaeology


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