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Digital Feudalism

Creators, Credit, Consumption, and Capitalism

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Stuart Hall famously argued that the cultural studies must maintain a “couplet” where culture and society, are articulated together in analysis and in theory. If Hall’s statements are a measure of best critical practices in cultural studies then Digital Feudalism measures up! Arditi’s development of sharp and inaugural contributions from Marxist, or critical-sociological, approaches into critique and analysis do more merely alert us to new cultural forms but, in Arditi’s hands, they allow us to view the totality of lived relations differently. Arditi illustrates how the features of our tech-laden and tech-mediated world though increasingly patterned on an ersatz hyper-modernism are, in fact, grotesque new relations of deference and servitude more closely associated with feudalism. Through an analysis of cases that exhibit the structures and practices associated with digital feudalism—subscription services, gig work, Amazon, influencers, the metaverse, and crowdfunding to name a few—Arditi reframes the strike-waves and the composition of movements to come with a warranted note of pessimism regarding capital’s "savage" capacities for adaptation. Stitching together the best of critical social theory and cultural studies, Arditi offers readers a clear and crucial lens on our current conjuncture. The prognosis? Digital Feudalism specifies that the center no longer holds. Rather, we face a less-comfortable, rougher, and far-less reasonable, democratic unfreedom beyond which there is no clear horizon line for better or for worse.

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Robert F. Carley, Associate Professor of International Affairs, Texas A&M University, College Statio

Over the past two decades, corporations and venture capitalists have adjusted business models to change the digital world. As a result, the global economy has undergone a massive shift, changing the way we work, consume and pay for things. Under this new ‘digital feudalism’, we find precarious employment via digital platforms, we buy goods and services in perpetuity through subscriptions, and we pay for it all with debt.

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Over the past two decades, corporations and venture capitalists have adjusted business models to change the digital world. As a result, the global economy has undergone a massive shift, changing the way we work, consume and pay for things. Under this new ‘digital feudalism’, we find precarious employment via digital platforms, we buy goods and services in perpetuity through subscriptions, and we pay for it all with debt.


Digital Feudalism explores this new moment in capitalism, and how reliant global economies have become on these processes of consumption, work, and debt.

Detaljer

Forlag
Emerald Publishing Limited
Innbinding
Paperback
Språk
Engelsk
ISBN
9781804557693
Utgivelsesår
2023
Format
20 x 13 cm

Om forfatteren

David Arditi is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington,a scholar of digital technology and an expert on streaming cultures.

Anmeldelser

«

Stuart Hall famously argued that the cultural studies must maintain a “couplet” where culture and society, are articulated together in analysis and in theory. If Hall’s statements are a measure of best critical practices in cultural studies then Digital Feudalism measures up! Arditi’s development of sharp and inaugural contributions from Marxist, or critical-sociological, approaches into critique and analysis do more merely alert us to new cultural forms but, in Arditi’s hands, they allow us to view the totality of lived relations differently. Arditi illustrates how the features of our tech-laden and tech-mediated world though increasingly patterned on an ersatz hyper-modernism are, in fact, grotesque new relations of deference and servitude more closely associated with feudalism. Through an analysis of cases that exhibit the structures and practices associated with digital feudalism—subscription services, gig work, Amazon, influencers, the metaverse, and crowdfunding to name a few—Arditi reframes the strike-waves and the composition of movements to come with a warranted note of pessimism regarding capital’s "savage" capacities for adaptation. Stitching together the best of critical social theory and cultural studies, Arditi offers readers a clear and crucial lens on our current conjuncture. The prognosis? Digital Feudalism specifies that the center no longer holds. Rather, we face a less-comfortable, rougher, and far-less reasonable, democratic unfreedom beyond which there is no clear horizon line for better or for worse.

»

Robert F. Carley, Associate Professor of International Affairs, Texas A&M University, College Statio

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In Digital Feudalism, Arditi draws a straight line from Netflix to the emerging Metaverse, warning us all that the only winners in a process of endless consumption and accelerated obsolescence are the big corporations who are taking more and more value from everyone else as part of an extractive economy. The book is compelling, highly readable for a range of audiences, and deeply unnerving, framed by Squid Game as a metaphor for the new digital era, with just one exception: everyone loses.

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Tama Leaver

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Arditi’s Digital Feudalism offers an excellent overview of the pressing developments—the negative affordances—resulting from US-based digital technologies and the ideology that informs and nourishes it. It is a book well worth reading and acting upon.

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Marcus Breen, Communication Department, Boston College, USA

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