The cycle of genre is composed of three SpheresOfInvention in which users optimize a medium of communication to meet their needs. It can be seen as an engine of change in which media are adapted to specific audience niches. The cycle of media is one of the primary drivers of dynamism in a medium, and a vehicle of invention that is independent of a medium's "inventors".
|The Cycle of Genre|
The Cycle of Genre operates within a larger CycleOfMedia and corresponds to what Herbert Simon described as the "outer environment" of an artifact. In the paper Media as an Ecology of Genre (see http://evolutionarymedia.com/papers/mediumAsEcologyOfGenre.htm) Foulger (2006) describes the cycle of genre as a major driver of change within media and introduces a new approach to the analysis of genre he refers to as Ecological Genre Theory.
Perhaps the most important element of ecological genre theory is its linkage of consumers (e.g. audiences of messages), generic niches (uses of media within a culture), and generic practice, which can be many things, but is most generally described as the adaptations that message creators make in order to make their messages effective with audiences. This linkage both links and seperates niches, media, and genre in important ways.
Niches exist in the ecology of media we generally refer to as a culture. Niches are things that people within a given culture want (and are permitted) to be able to do, and effective niches form in the intersection of things that creators of messages, consumers of messages, and often other people want to accomplish. A niche is indifferent to what medium enables that effective intersection. The desires of comediens to create and audiences to consume comedy, for instance, is really entirely indifferent to whether those desires are satisfied in conversation, a club, a theatre, a radio show, a movie, or a television show (among a number of possible options). The comedian is likely to be paid better in some of these media venues than others. Some of these media venues are more convenient for audiences than others, but the desires associated with the niche are satisfied in all of these media (often in different ways), and genres have evolved in each of these media to satisfy the desires.
We might model these relationships as follows:
It is possible to identify a large number of these niches:
Genre evolve, over the course of many messages, primarily through a process of emulation. As message creators adopt message structures and strategies that appear to have been effective in the past, the surface of the genre forms as a set of recurring, and therefore predictable, message elements.
| -- Last edited September 18, 2015 |
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