Peer-produced Websites and Legitimate Culture. The Case of Book Abstract Websites in Dutch Secondary Education.

Marc Verboord, Joost Van Luijt


The arrival of peer-produced websites may have implications for how legitimate cultural products are produced, regarded and consumed in society, since they signal the decreased importance of experts’ evaluations. In this explorative study, we examine the effects of using peer-produced book abstract websites by students in Dutch secondary education on their reading behavior in the school context. The results showed that almost 90% of the students regularly use book abstract websites. Students who more frequently use book abstract websites, more often select authors who are popular among their fellow students for their educational reading list. However, frequent website users do not differ in the degree of legitimacy associated with their reading selections. Yet they less often finish reading the books they select and read with less enjoyment.


media studies; ICT; peer-production; legitimate culture; book reading; education

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