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Bakelite and other Shibboleths: eBay listings and the 'policing' of 'amateur' collecting knowledges within the space of an online old radio forum

Ellis, Rebecca (2009) Bakelite and other Shibboleths: eBay listings and the 'policing' of 'amateur' collecting knowledges within the space of an online old radio forum. Working Paper. Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI) Working Paper 2009-05, University of Essex, Colchester, UK.

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Abstract

eBay, the online auction site, is composed of thousands of item descriptions constructed by sellers themselves. Sellers may be collectors or antiques experts, but often they are amateurs selling off unwanted items. As such, eBay becomes an unprecedented public space for the performance of amateur collecting and consumption knowledges where experts are being disintermediated by non-expert knowledges. These knowledges have become a major source of discussion on an online old radio discussion forum and the case study presented here contends that amateur knowledges are strongly contested, often in separate online spaces, and as part of identity performance. While a ‘cult of the amateur’ may be occurring online, it is not happening without a fight over knowledge and its performance. eBay is shown as a relational space to the forum, allowing radio experts to perform their own group identity and related practices - distinguished from those seen on eBay. This paper examines these distinctions in detail - the identifying traits or 'Shibboleths' of eBay amateurs - such as the incorrect spelling of 'Bakelite'..

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Collecting; amateur; consumption knowledges; Web 2.0; online policing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of > Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2012 14:08
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2012 14:50
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2299

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