Media and New Capitalism in the Digital Age: The Spirit of Networks

Overview

This book explores the new terrain of network capitalism through the transformations of the discourse on technology. Rather than viewing technology, discourse as either a true or false reflection of reality Fisher evaluates the ideological role that technology discourse plays in the legitimation of a new form of capitalism. Based on an extensive empirical analysis, the book argues that contemporary technology discourse promises more individual empowerment through network technology and legitimates more privatized...

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Overview

This book explores the new terrain of network capitalism through the transformations of the discourse on technology. Rather than viewing technology, discourse as either a true or false reflection of reality Fisher evaluates the ideological role that technology discourse plays in the legitimation of a new form of capitalism. Based on an extensive empirical analysis, the book argues that contemporary technology discourse promises more individual empowerment through network technology and legitimates more privatized and flexible constellations of economic life. This signals a new trade-off in the political, culture, of capitalism from a legitimation discourse that emphasizes the capacity of technology to bring about social emancipations to one that focuses on the capacity of technology to bring about individual emancipation through creativity and democratization. Contrary to the prevailing assumption that sees, network technology as overcoming the rigidity and pitfalls of a stifling, Fordist capitalism, the book offers a theoretical framework that sees contemporary technology discourse as an ideology that legitimates the economic, social, and political arrangements of the new, post-Fordist capitalism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Fisher’s brilliant book provides cogent reasons why we should be skeptical about laptop capitalism and its fluidity and instantaneity of communication. As we surf, text, and post, we are actually becoming more enmeshed in the cyber-networks of command and control that, now as before, bear down heavily. Fisher helps us understand the age of digitality as, above all, capitalist.”--Ben Agger, Professor of Sociology and Humanities, University of Texas at Arlington

“This carefully researched and skillfully written guide to the networked world doesn’t just demolish the dreamy visions of Utopia 2.0. It provides precisely the comprehensive analysis we need to understand their power and persistence.”--Vincent Mosco, Canada Research Chair in Communication and Society, Queen’s University, Canada

“This is an audacious systematic ideology-critique of digital capitalism. By meticulously exposing the underlying assumptions and consequences of the digital technology discourse, the book evinces how a seemingly neutral network that creates ‘friction free capitalism’ germinates a neo-capitalist ‘iron cage.’ The book reconnects the semiotic and material societal levels. It should be placed on your shelf with Castells's book on informational capitalism, with Dyer-Witheford's on cyber-Marxism or with Mosco's on the digital sublime.”--Uri Ram, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben Gurion University, Israel

"An important reminder that the relationship of information science to the economy, society, and politics is not an extramural and peripheral issue for information science, but constitutive of the discipline itself. And his book is well worth reading." --David Bade, University of Chicago, Journal of Documentation

"Given that Fisher is dealing with a topic that touches on a range of social domains, this book will be of interest to a wide assortment of scholarly concerned about changes in the world of technology, work, and capital accumulation. Even political economists, who often shy away from discourse analysis, will learn much about the wider social forces that buttress changes to informational capitalism." --Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137310811
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/19/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Eran Fisher is Lecturer at the College of Management -- Academic Studies, and at the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Technology Discourse and Capitalist legitimation 1

I 13

1 Capitalism, Technology, and the Digital Discourse 15

2 Contemporary Technology Discourse 29

II 43

3 Network Market 45

4 Network Work 81

5 Network Production 109

6 Network Human 145

III 181

7 Network Cosmology and the Exhaustion of Critique 183

8 Networks as the Techno-political Culture of Pose-Fordism 211

Notes 229

References 233

Index 247

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