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Marx and Digital Machines

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ISBN: 9781912656806 Year: Pages: 172 DOI: 10.16997/book47 Language: English
Publisher: University of Westminster Press
Subject: Philosophy --- Political Science --- Science (General) --- Social Sciences --- Sociology --- Agriculture (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2020-11-19 00:25:04
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"This book explores the fundamental contradiction at the heart of the digital environment: technology offers all manner of promises, yet habitually fails to deliver. This failure often arises from numerous problems: the proficiency of the technology or end-user, policy failure at various levels, or a combination of these. Solutions such as better technology and more effective end-user education are often put into place to solve these failures. Mike Healy argues that such approaches are inherently faulty drawing upon qualitative research informed by Marx’s theory of alienation. Using Marx’s theory, he considers participants in three distinct settings: the workplace of information and communications technology (ICT) professionals; university scholars researching the ethical and societal implications of our digital environment; and a group of pensioners living in South London, UK, undertaking ICT training. By delving beneath the surface of how digital technologies are created, researched and experienced, this study illustrates the contradictory nature of our digital lives, as they directly arise from the needs of capitalism. The book also places Marx’s theory in contrast to the mainstream approaches derived from Seaman and Blauner. In researching and comprehending ICT, this book reaffirms the superior explanatory power of Marx’s theory of alienation."

Keywords

society --- digital --- technology --- Karl Marx --- capitalism --- alienation

Social Capital Online

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Book Series: Critical Digital and Social Media Studies ISBN: 9781911534570 9781911534563 9781911534570 9781911534587 9781911534594 Year: Pages: 194 DOI: 10.16997/book16 Language: English
Publisher: University of Westminster Press
Subject: Economics --- Sociology --- Social Sciences --- Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:34:39
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"What is ‘social capital’? The enormous positivity surrounding it conceals the instrumental economic rationality underpinning the notion as corporations silently sell consumer data for profit. Status chasing is just one aspect of a process of transforming qualitative aspects of social interactions into quantifiable metrics for easier processing, prediction, and behavioural shaping. A work of critical media studies, Social Capital Online examines the idea within the new ‘network spectacle’ of digital capitalism via the ideas of Marx, Veblen, Debord, Baudrillard and Deleuze. Explaining how such phenomena as online narcissism and aggression arise, Faucher offers a new theoretical understanding of how the spectacularisation of online activity perfectly aligns with the value system of neoliberalism and its data worship. Even so, at the centre of all, lie familiar ideas – alienation and accumulation – new conceptions of which he argues are vital for understanding today’s digital society."

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