How Has the Emergence of Digital Culture Affected Professional Magic?
We examined how the emerging digital culture has affected magicians’ careers, the development of their expertise and the general practices of their professions. We used social network analysis (n=120) to identify Finland’s most highly regarded magicians (n=16) representing different generations. The participants were theme interviewed and also collected self-report questionnaire data. The results revealed that digital transformations have strongly affected the magical profession in terms of changing their career paths and entry into the profession. Magic used to be a secretive culture, where access to advanced knowledge was controlled by highly regarded gatekeepers who shared their knowledge with a selected group of committed newcomers as a function of their extended efforts. Openly sharing magical knowledge on the Internet has diminished the traditionally strong role of these gatekeepers. Although online tutorials have made magical know-how more accessible to newcomers, professional communities and networks play a crucial role in the cultivation of advanced professional competences.
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