Digital Objects, Digital Subjects

Digital Objects, Digital Subjects

By David Chandler (editor)
Book Description

This volume explores activism, research and critique in the age of digital subjects and objects and Big Data capitalism after a digital turn said to have radically transformed our political futures. Optimists assert that the ‘digital’ promises: new forms of community and ways of knowing and sensing, innovation, participatory culture, networked activism, and distributed democracy. Pessimists argue that digital technologies have extended domination via new forms of control, networked authoritarianism and exploitation, dehumanization and the surveillance society. Leading international scholars present varied interdisciplinary assessments of such claims – in theory and via dialogue – and of the digital’s impact on society and the potentials, pitfalls, limits and ideologies, of digital activism. They reflect on whether computational social science, digital humanities and ubiquitous datafication lead to digital positivism that threatens critical research or lead to new horizons in theory and society.

An electronic version of this book is freely available, thanks to the support of libraries working with Knowledge Unlatched. KU is a collaborative initiative designed to make high quality books Open Access for the public good. More information about the initiative and details about KU’s Open Access programme can be found at

Table of Contents
  • 1. Introduction: Big Data Capitalism – Politics, Activism, and Theory
  • Section I: Digital Capitalism and Big Data Capitalism
    • 2. Digital Governance in the Anthropocene: The Rise of the Correlational Machine
    • 3. Beyond Big Data Capitalism, Towards Dialectical Digital Modernity: Reflections on David Chandler’s Chapter
    • 4. Karl Marx in the Age of Big Data Capitalism
    • 5. What is at Stake in the Critique of Big Data? Reflections on Christian Fuchs’s Chapter
    • 6. Seeing Like a Cyborg? The Innocence of Posthuman Knowledge
    • 7. Posthumanism as a Spectrum: Reflections on Paul Rekret’s Chapter
  • Section II: Digital Labour
    • 8. Through the Reproductive Lens: Labour and Struggle at the Intersection of Culture and Economy
    • 9. Contradictions in the Twitter Social Factory: Reflections on Kylie Jarrett’s Chapter
    • 10. E(a)ffective Precarity, Control and Resistance in the Digitalised Workplace
    • 11. Beyond Repression: Reflections on Phoebe Moore’s Chapter
    • 12. Goodbye iSlave: Making Alternative Subjects Through Digital Objects
    • 13. Wage-Workers, Not Slaves: Reflections on Jack Qiu’s Chapter
  • Section III: Digital Politics
    • 14. Critique or Collectivity? Communicative Capitalism and the Subject of Politics
    • 15. Subjects, Contexts and Modes of Critique: Reflections on Jodi Dean’s Chapter
    • 16. The Platform Party: The Transformation of Political Organisation in the Era of Big Data
    • 17. The Movement Party – Winning Elections and Transforming Democracy in a Digital Era: Reflections on Paolo Gerbaudo’s Chapter
    • 18. The Appropriation of Fixed Capital: A Metaphor?
    • 19. Appropriation of Digital Machines and Appropriation of Fixed Capital as the Real Appropriation of Social Being: Reflections on Toni Negri’s Chapter
  • The Editors and the Contributors
  • Index
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