Constructing authority in the digital age: Comparing book reviews of professional and amateur critics

Rian Koreman*, Marc Verboord, Susanne Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Downloads (Pure)


How do cultural critics in the digital age convince audiences that their writings are valuable? What discursive strategies do they employ to construct their authority? And which differences can we see between professional critics working in institutionalized media and amateur critics contributing to online platforms? This article presents an in-depth analysis of book reviews by different critics to answer these questions. The results indicate that long-standing critical strategies are still largely intact: both professional and amateur critics construct authority by analyzing the book, contextualizing the book and discussing its reception, suggesting that amateurs have adopted to a large degree the skill sets of professionals. At the same time, amateur critics distinguish themselves by a pronounced presence of their personal experience in their reviews. This could point to a new way of constructing authority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study is supported by the Dutch Research Council as part of the PhD in the Humanities Project ‘Constructing Cultural Authority. The online and offline evaluation of pop music and fiction books.’ (PGW 14-10, projectnumber 322-45-005).

Research programs



Dive into the research topics of 'Constructing authority in the digital age: Comparing book reviews of professional and amateur critics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this