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Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Dan Schiller , Daniel Schiller

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28. Februar 2000
Cyberspace not only exemplifies but spearheads the greater political economy of which it has become such a critical part. The networks that comprise cyberspace were originally created at the behest of government agencies, military contractors, and allied educational institutions. However, over the past generation or so, a growing number of these networks began to serve primarily corporate users. Under the sway of an expansionary market logic, the Internet began a political-economic transition toward what Dan Schiller calls "digital capitalism."Schiller traces these metamorphoses through three critically important and interlinked realms. Parts I and II deal with the overwhelmingly "neoliberal" or market-driven policies that influence and govern the telecommunications system and their empowerment of transnational corporations while at the same time exacerbating exisiting social inequalities. Part III shows how cyberspace offers uniquely supple instruments with which to cultivate and deepen consumerism on a transnational scale, especially among privileged groups. Finally, Part IV shows how digital capitalism has already overtaken education, placing it at the mercy of a proprietary market logic.


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One of the great early claims of cyberculture was that the Net constituted a realm distinct from the "real world," with a life and laws all its own. This book argues strongly to the contrary. Not only is cyberspace an integral part of the real world, Dan Schiller insists, but it exists primarily to serve powerful real-world economic interests--none of which are necessarily aligned with the principles of individual freedom and equal access commonly touted as the Internet's defining values.

In Schiller's reckoning, it was neither Al Gore, the Pentagon bureaucracy, nor a subculture of long-haired hackers that brought digital networks into being. Rather, it was large corporations in the '40s and '50s that were looking to expand operations across national borders. Through big business's economic demand for sophisticated networking tools, and more importantly, through its direct political demands for deregulated digital telecommunications, these corporate interests carved out the technosocial realm we now know as cyberspace. The Internet thus stands as both symptom and fulcrum of the broader trend toward globalization that is the hallmark of the political economy of the late 20th century.

In Schiller's view, that trend is a decidedly bad thing, and he spends much of the book outlining what he sees as its deleterious effects on economic equality, media culture, and higher education. These are unabashedly anticapitalist sentiments, but whether or not you agree with them, Schiller's account of the relationship between corporations and cyberspace demands to be reckoned with. --Julian Dibbell -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


"[P]rovides a useful counterweight to popular expectations about the supposedly democratic impact of the Internet." Harvard Business Review "In Digital Capitalism... Dan Schiller provides a compelling andsobering view of the democratic potential of the Internet. Robert McChesney , Lingua Franca, "Breakthrough Books" "In this welcome antidote to happy high-tech hype, Schiller cutsthrough the false promises of the new cyber age to expose the harshpolitical and economic realities that shape it." David Noble , Division of Social Science, York University

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
During the mid-1950s, near the beginning of the digital computer era, U.S. government agencies and educational institutions possessed perhaps three-quarters of the nation's several hundred computer installations. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A Good Read! 10. Mai 2001
Von Rolf Dobelli - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Dan Schiller's book is an exhaustive history and analysis of network deregulation, the Internet, and the emerging global economic order. In this academic work, Schiller examines the social and political issues of the Internet, the new economic landscape. He is, above all, a critic of the political realities that shaped the Internet. He laments its lack of social and "welfarist" features and argues that a system created by market forces to serve market forces can only exacerbate existing inequities. His dry, academic tone still reveals a little emotion, making it clear that Schiller is no cheerleader for the neo-liberal orientation he perceives on the Internet. Is there an overt political slant to the book? You might say that. We [...] recommend it to students of economics, social sciences, and communications, and to anyone else with a good political filter who wants to better understand the Internet's impact on the global economy, albeit from a U.S. perspective.
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