Critique, Social Media and the Information Society  book cover
1st Edition

Critique, Social Media and the Information Society

ISBN 9780415721080
Published April 17, 2014 by Routledge
280 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $68.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In times of global capitalist crisis we are witnessing a return of critique in the form of a surging interest in critical theories (such as the critical political economy of Karl Marx) and social rebellions as a reaction to the commodification and instrumentalization of everything. On one hand, there are overdrawn claims that social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc) have caused uproars in countries like Tunisia and Egypt. On the other hand, the question arises as to what actual role social media play in contemporary capitalism, crisis, rebellions, the strengthening of the commons, and the potential creation of participatory democracy. The commodification of everything has resulted also in a commodification of the communication commons, including Internet communication that is today largely commercial in character.

This book deals with the questions of what kind of society and what kind of Internet are desirable, how capitalism, power structures and social media are connected, how political struggles are connected to social media, what current developments of the Internet and society tell us about potential futures, how an alternative Internet can look like, and how a participatory, commons-based Internet and a co-operative, participatory, sustainable information society can be achieved.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Critique, Social Media and the Information Society in the Age of Capitalist Crisis  Christian Fuchs and Marisol Sandoval  Part I: Critical Studies of the Information Society  2. Critique of the Political Economy of Informational Capitalism and Social Media  Christian Fuchs  3. Potentials and Risks for Creating a Global Sustainable Information Society  Wolfgang Hofkirchner  4. Critical Studies of Contemporary Informational Capitalism: The Perspective of Emerging Scholars  Sebastian Sevignani, Robert Prey, Marisol Sandoval, Thomas Allmer, Jernej Amon Prodnik and Verena Kreilinger  5. Social Informatics and Ethics: Towards the Good Information and Communication Society  Gunilla Bradley  Part II: Critical Internet- and Social Media-Studies  6. Great Refusal or Long March: How to Think About the Internet  Andrew Feenberg  7. Producing Consumerism: Commodities, Ideologies, Practices  Graham Murdock  8. Social Media?: The Unsocial Character of Capitalist Media  Marisol Sandoval  9. The Global Worker and the Digital Front  Nick Dyer-Witheford  10. Alienation’s Returns  Mark Andrejevic  11. Social Media and Political Participation: Discourse and Deflection  Peter Dahlgren  12. "The Architecture of Participation": For Citizens or Consumers?  Tobias Olsson  Part III: Critical Studies of Communication Labour  13. Precarious Times, Precarious Work: A Feminist Political Economy of Freelance Journalists in Canada and the United States  Catherine McKercher  14. Flight as Fight: Re-Negotiating the Work of Journalism  Margareta Melin  15. Marx is Back, But Will Knowledge Workers of the World Unite?: On the Critical Study of Labour, Media and Communication Today  Vincent Mosco

View More



Christian Fuchs is Professor of Social Media Research at the University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute.

Marisol Sandoval is a Lecturer in Culture, Policy and Management at City University, London.