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Christian FuchsCulture and Economy in the Age of Social Media

Routledge, 2015

by Dave O'Brien on June 28, 2015

Christian Fuchs

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Social media is now a pervasive element of many people's lives. in order to best understand this phenomenon we need a comprehensive theory of the political economy of social media. In Culture and Economy in the Age of Social Media (Routledge, 2015), Christian Fuchs, a professor of social media at the University of Westminster, brings together a range of media, social and economic theorists to explain social media. Using Raymond Williams to draw attention to the material conditions of control, production and use of social media, including case studies from the USA and China. Most notably the book insists on understanding the international division of labour behind the seemingly ephemeral aspects of online interactions. The book is essential reading for all of those active online, as well as those working in the political economy and critical theory traditions. It is available here.

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John SharpWorks of Game: On the Aesthetics of Games and Art

June 1, 2015

That games, particularly video games, could be viewed as art should come as no surprise. And yet, a debate exists over what is and should be considered art with respect to games. In his new book, Works of Game: On the Aesthetics of Games and Art (MIT Press, 2015), John Sharp offers context for the discussion […]

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That privacy in the digital age is an important concept to be discussed is axiomatic. Cameras in mobile phones make it easy to record events and post them on the web. Consumers post an enormous amount of information on social media sites. And much of this information is made publicly available. A common question, then, […]

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Screens are ubiquitous. From the screen on a mobile, to that on a tablet, or laptop, or desktop computer, screens appear all around us, full of content both visual and text. But it is not necessarily the ubiquity of screens that has societal implications. The significance is in how screens fundamentally change how we ingest […]

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Social media and digital technology now allow researchers to collect vast amounts of a variety data quickly. This so-called "big data," and the practices that surround its collection, is all the rage in both the media and in research circles. What makes data "big," is described by the v's: volume, velocity, variety, and veracity. Volume […]

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April 13, 2015

Reverse Engineering Social Media: Software, Culture, and Political Economy in New Media Capitalism (Temple University Press, 2014) by Robert Gehl (University of Utah, Department of Communication) explores the architecture and political economy of social media. Gehl analyzes the ideas of social media and software engineers, using these ideas to find contradictions and fissures beneath the surfaces […]

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Casey O’DonnellDeveloper’s Dilemma: The Secret World of Videogame Creators

April 6, 2015

In his new book, Developer’s Dilemma: The Secret World of Videogame Creators (MIT Press, 2014), Casey O’Donnell, an assistant professor in the department of Media and Information in the College of Communication Arts at Michigan State University, takes the reader inside the game development process. An ethnographic study of the people and the process of videogame […]

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Orit HalpernBeautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945

March 9, 2015

The second half of the twentieth century saw a radical transformation in approaches to recording and displaying information. Orit Halpern’s new book traces the emergence of the “communicative objectivity” that resulted from this shift and produced new forms of observation, rationality, and economy. Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945 (Duke University […]

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Yasmine B. Kafai and Quinn BurkeConnected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming

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Although the push to persuade everyone to learn to code is quite the current rage, the coding movement has roots that extend back for more than a few decades. In 1980 Seymour Papert published his book, Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas, arguing that learning to code would help children to better understand not only […]

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