The Web and the Problem with Popularization

Sunday, January 10, 2010: 9:30 AM
Elizabeth Ballroom G (Hyatt)
Kathryn Lofton , Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
How does popularization work? Through a discussion of its rhetorical features (taking up examples from online magazines and blogs covering American religion), it becomes clear that the problem with popularization isn’t that it makes things simpler; the problem with popularization is that it makes everything minor and mediated for the masses. Looking at how that mediation transpires may help us work harder to make popularizing products for the Web that take more responsibility for the predictable pitfalls of the genre.