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The Critique of Digital Capitalism: An Analysis of the Political Economy of Digital Culture and Technology

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ISBN: 9780692598443 Year: Pages: 262 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0125.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Economics
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:37
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Anything that can be automated, will be. The “magic” that digital technology has brought us — self-driving cars, Bitcoin, high frequency trading, internet of things, social networking, mass surveillance, the 2009 housing bubble — has not been considered ideologically. The Critique of Digital Capitalism identifies how digital technology has captured contemporary society in a reification of capitalist priorities. The theory proposed in this book is the description of how digital capitalism as an ideologically “invisible” framework is realized in technology. Written as a series of articles between 2003 and 2015, it provides a broad critical scope for understanding the inherent demands of capitalist protocols for expansion without constraint (regardless of social, legal or ethical limits) that are increasingly being realized as autonomous systems no longer dependent on human labor or oversight and implemented without social discussion of their impacts. The digital illusion of infinite resources, infinite production, and no costs appears as an “end to scarcity,” whereby digital production supposedly eliminates costs and makes everything equally available to everyone. This fantasy of production without consumption hides the physical costs and real-world impacts of these technologies.

The Spectacle 2.0

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ISBN: 9781911534440 9781911534457 9781911534464 9781911534471 Year: Pages: 252 DOI: 10.16997/book11 Language: English
Publisher: University of Westminster Press Grant: University of Westminster
Subject: Political Science --- Sociology --- Media and communication --- Social Sciences --- Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2018-01-09 11:02:32
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Spectacle 2.0 recasts Debord's theory of spectacle within the frame of 21st century digital capitalism. It offers a reassessment of Debord’s original notion of Spectacle from the late 1960s, of its posterior revisitation in the 1990s, and it presents a reinterpretation of the concept within the scenario of contemporary informational capitalism and more specifically of digital and media labour. It is argued that the Spectacle 2.0 form operates as the interactive network that links through one singular (but contradictory) language and various imaginaries, uniting diverse productive contexts such as logistics, finance, new media and urbanism. Spectacle 2.0 thus colonizes most spheres of social life by processes of commodification, exploitation and reification. Diverse contributors consider the topic within the book’s two main sections: Part I conceptualizes and historicizes the Spectacle in the context of informational capitalism; contributions in Part II offer empirical cases that historicise the Spectacle in relation to the present (and recent past) showing how a Spectacle 2.0 approach can illuminate and deconstruct specific aspects of contemporary social reality. All contributions included in this book rework the category of the Spectacle to present a stimulating compendium of theoretical critical literature in the fields of media and labour studies. In the era of the gig-economy, highly mediated content and President Trump, Debord’s concept is arguably more relevant than ever.

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."

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.

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