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Ce que le numérique fait à la lecture : Distinguer les supports, questionner les usages

Abstract : Despite the growing number of writings on digital technology and its effects on culture, they remain insufficient if we wish to understand what effect digital media has on ordinary literary reading. Whether optimistic or concerned, the discourse tends to point out either the possibilities opened up by new mediums or the threats they represent. Neuroscience appears to support both positions, depending on how data are interpreted; it usually offers only a limited understanding, as it seldom integrates social variations, and rarely places use within the framework of a practice and context. Information and communication sciences are more concerned with devices and the uses and users they presuppose, or favour, rather than their actual use. Public statistics measure uses without being able to account for them. This Symbolic Goods dossier sets out to reintegrate reading into the perspectives offered by both the history of books and social science. Moving away from the mainly ideological debates that pit old against new, it wishes to unite empirical studies that identify mediums while also taking social variations into consideration. This dossier starts with an interview with Roger Chartier, who situates digital reading in the long-term context of the history of writing, and questions the rupture that digital technology has brought about for books. Three sociological investigations on ordinary reading practices then put this question to the test through fieldwork. What changes when a text passes from print to screen; or for readers socialized in the order of books who become digitally adept and try out an e-reader device, or conversely cannot imagine that the advantages of paper books could be transposed digitally? The dossier finally explores some actual uses that digital technology permits, from ordinary erudite practices which use a digitized corpus, to reading/commenting practices of an originally digital graphic novel literary production. If one can indeed speak of the “metamorphosis of the reader,” an expression coined by Pierre Assouline, where is this situated? Without claiming to cover all aspects, this dossier aims to show the benefits of empirical study on a question about which much has been written, but that remains largely unanswered.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03206657
Contributor : Cécile Rabot <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 23, 2021 - 2:15:19 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 3:26:28 AM

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Cécile Rabot. Ce que le numérique fait à la lecture : Distinguer les supports, questionner les usages. Biens symboliques, 2020, ⟨10.4000/bssg.475⟩. ⟨hal-03206657⟩

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