Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive

Overview

""If Ballard invited the twentieth-century viewer to witness their own mass atrocity exhibition, we now have the update for the twenty-first century: Jodi Dean's demolition job of the internet as we know it. With Blog Theory we can finally terminate the hype of blogging and seriously engage the deeply distracted condition of the networked present." Geert Lovink, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam" ""Blog Theory is refreshingly free of received ideas about the wonderful new world of media. Jodi Dean manages the difficult art of being ...

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Overview

""If Ballard invited the twentieth-century viewer to witness their own mass atrocity exhibition, we now have the update for the twenty-first century: Jodi Dean's demolition job of the internet as we know it. With Blog Theory we can finally terminate the hype of blogging and seriously engage the deeply distracted condition of the networked present." Geert Lovink, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam" ""Blog Theory is refreshingly free of received ideas about the wonderful new world of media. Jodi Dean manages the difficult art of being critical of new media without becoming a cranky curmudgeon. She clears the way for imagining the politics of media by other means." Mckenzie Wark, The New School University" ""What happens to politics when there is no one in charge? The answer Jodi Dean gives, in this coruscating, rock án' roll ride through new political and media theory, is communicative capitalism - the obligation to communicate in a world turned into a market for communications. Dean's radical call for a new media politics will challenge political scientists, communication theorists, and media activists to sever the ties, and create an unforeseeable, dramatically material future." Sean Cubitt, University of Melbourne" "Blog Theory develops a critical theory of contemporary media. Advancing her account of communicative capitalism, Jodi Dean explores how new media practices like blogging, friending, and texting capture their users in networks of enjoyment, production, and surveillance. Her wide-ranging and theoretically rich analysis extends from her personal experiences as a blogger, through media histories, to newly emerging social network platforms and applications. Dean details the ways networked media undermine oppositional politics by inducing users to highlight communication and awareness and neglect organization and revolt." Set against the background of the economic crisis wrought by neoliberalism, the book defends the provocative thesis that complex networks are best understood via the psychoanalytic notion of the drives. The "newness" of new media is less a matter of technology than of the capture of political energies in ever-intensifying circuits of exploitation and submission. Dean contends that reading networks in terms of the drives reveals their real, human dimension in the feelings and affects that make our submission automatic, obvious, and fun. A polemic against Web 2.0 and participartory media fantasies, Blog Theory exposes our underlying entrapment in the media net.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dean is asking the right questions about online life … We certainly need vigilance and critique to help us resist dotcom charisma, and no one is fiercer or smarter than Dean on this front."
LA Review of Books

"Jodi Dean’s Blog Theory takes as its proximate subject the eponymous blog—and its living death … what is offered is both simple and, oddly enough, also hopeful."
Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

"If Ballard invited the 20th century viewer to witness their own mass atrocity exhibition, we now have the update for the 21st century: Jodi Dean's demolition job of the Internet as we know it. With Blog Theory we can finally terminate the hype of blogging and seriously engage the deeply distracted condition of the networked present. The incestuous relationship between journalism and bloggers is exposed to make way for critical reflections on techniques of self-management for our all-too-fragile identities."
Geert Lovink

"Blog Theory is refreshingly free of received ideas about the wonderful new world of media. Jodi Dean manages the difficult art of being critical of new media without becoming a cranky curmudgeon. She uses psychoanalytic concepts to produce a synoptic view of the decline of symbolic efficiency under communicative capitalism, and the way the blogosphere participates in this dissipation of the totems and tokens of what we once thought of as the public sphere. She clears the way for imagining the politics of media by other means."
McKenzie Wark, The New School University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745649702
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/11/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 140
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Jodi Dean is Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

1 Blog Settings 1

2 The Death of Blogging 33

3 Whatever Blogging 61

4 Affective Networks 91

Notes 127

Index 144

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