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Digital Objects, Digital Subjects

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ISBN: 9781912656080 9781912656202 9781912656097 9781912656103 Year: DOI: 10.16997/book29 Language: English
Publisher: University of Westminster Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 102534
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2019-02-26 11:21:03
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This book explores activism, research and critique in the age of digital subjects and objects and Big Data capitalism after a digital turn said to have radically transformed our political futures. Optimists assert that the ‘digital’ promises: new forms of community and ways of knowing and sensing, innovation, participatory culture, networked activism, and distributed democracy. Pessimists argue that digital technologies have extended domination via new forms of control, networked authoritarianism and exploitation, dehumanization and the surveillance society. Leading international scholars present varied interdisciplinary assessments of such claims—in theory and via dialogue—and of the digital’s impact on society, the potentials, pitfalls, limits and ideologies, of digital activism. They reflect on whether computational social science, digital humanities and ubiquitous datafication lead to digital positivism that threatens critical research or lead to new horizons in theory and society.

Incorporating the Digital Commons

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Book Series: Critical, Digital and Social Media Studies ISBN: 9781912656431 Year: Pages: 158 DOI: 10.16997/book39 Language: English
Publisher: University of Westminster Press
Subject: Information theory --- Economics --- Media and communication --- Business and Management --- Sociology
Added to DOAB on : 2020-05-04 10:26:44
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The concept of ‘the commons’ has been used as a framework to understand resources shared by a community rather than a private entity, and it has also inspired social movements working against the enclosure of public goods and resources. One such resource is free (libre) and open source software (FLOSS). FLOSS emerged as an alternative to proprietary software in the 1980s. However, both the products and production processes of FLOSS have become incorporated into capitalist production. For example, Red Hat, Inc. is a large publicly traded company whose business model relies entirely on free software, and IBM, Intel, Cisco, Samsung, Google are some of the largest contributors to Linux, the open-source operating system. This book explores the ways in which FLOSS has been incorporated into digital capitalism. Just as the commons have been used as a motivational frame for radical social movements, it has also served the interests of free-marketeers, corporate libertarians, and states to expand their reach by dragging the shared resources of social life onto digital platforms so they can be integrated into the global capitalist system. The book concludes by asserting the need for a critical political economic understanding of the commons that foregrounds (digital) labour, class struggle, and uneven power distribution within the digital commons as well as between FLOSS communities and their corporate sponsors.

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