9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN18 Sociology of Communications and Media Research

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Digital Cultures Building AA, AA.325

The Intellectual Labour in the Age of Digital Remix

The paper starts by the hypothesis that, in the industrialised West, in so called post fordist society, the areas of production of value includes free time, as an area of consumption. Production time includes free activities aiming not at remuneration or career gains but rather at defending and improving one?s existence, identity and sense of belonging, that converts all the people into active population and the lifetime into labour time. This paper specifically looks at the inter-relations between production and consumption and at the field of productivity traditionally identified as ?consumption?. We consider the field of the general intellectual activity concerning the consumers: the work that enriches, promotes and enhances products, when it comes to both making them socially ?exchangeable? in ?word-of-mouth marketing? involving interpersonal interactions and designing new products in the communicative interaction of needs and desires. In this field, the consumer?s general intellectual activity creates positive externalities to productive system.
Consumption is evidently linked to discursive and informative practices of the cultural industries and to public and private policy-making, organizing the supply. The general intellectual activity works hand in hand with mainstream communication and production system, by providing it with the reservoir of topics, subjects, languages and forms available for being manipulated. This process becomes partially visible and ?identifiable? in on-line communication, in the social network and in mass self-communication (Castells 2006), and can be identified (although proper investigation of the phenomenon is undoubtedly called for) in the continuum between interpersonal interaction, whether face to face or mediated by cell phones and personal computers, and the many to many communication found in the social web of blogs and You Tube. Generally, at the onset of digital comunication technologies we can observe a shift from the production of contents in the age of its mechanical reproduction (Benjamin, 1936) to generation of contents in the age of its digital remix
(Lessig, 2008).