Informationalism and media labour

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The central idea of ‘informationalism’ is that we are entering into a totally new epoch, which will fundamentally change the very nature of human existence. The impetus for this new epoch is the ‘bit’, the element that forges the continually evolving digital revolution which will change every human individual and social relation. This revolution is viewed as a fundamentally progressive force which will overturn the dominant forms of social organization that currently exist. Elements of this view can be seen in a diversity of sources from Gilder (2000) and Kelly (1995) to Castells (2000) and Levinson (1999). Pushed to its extreme, this position envisions that the information revolution will democratize all parts of society, create infinite diversity and satisfaction of needs, demolish oppressive political institutions, and bring about an economic revolution in which everyone everywhere will have unlimited access to information and thus the ability to produce their own products (since knowledge replaces the means of production as the centre of capitalist relations). The notion that we now live in an ‘information society’ suggests that there has been a fundamental shift in the nature of capitalism. At its extreme this view claims that capitalism is fading and being replaced by ‘informationalism’.

Keywords: capitalism; digital revolution; diversity; informationalism; means of production; political institutions

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Miami University (Ohio)

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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