Dr. Vincent Mosco
















Marx and the Political Economy of the Media


ISBN: 9789004291409
Publication Date: October 2015

Edited by Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster and Vincent Mosco, Queen’s University

More than 130 years after Karl Marx’s death and 150 years after the publication of his opus magnum Capital: Critique of Political Economy, capitalism keeps being haunted by period crises. The most recent capitalist crisis has brought back attention to Marx’s works.

This volume presents 18 contributions that show how Marx’s analyses of capitalism, the commodity, class, labour, work, exploitation, surplus-value, dialectics, crises, ideology, class struggles, and communism help us to understand media, cultural and communications in 21st century informational capitalism.

Marx is back! This book is a key resource on the foundations of Marxist Media, Cultural and Communication Studies.


Table of contentsList of Tables and Figures
About the Authors

1. Introduction: Marx is Back – The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Communication Studies Today
Christian Fuchs and Vincent Mosco

2. Marx is Back, But Which One? On Knowledge Labour and Media Practice
Vincent Mosco

3. Cultural Work as a Site of Struggle: Freelancers and Exploitation
Nicole S. Cohen

4. Against Commodification: The University, Cognitive Capitalism and Emergent Technologies
Richard Hall and Bernd Stahl

5. Communication and Symbolic Capitalism. Rethinking Marxist Communication Theory in the Light of the Information Society
George Pleios

6. Missing Marx: The Place of Marx in Current Communication Research and the Place of Communication in Marx’s Work 
İrfan Erdogan 

7. Did Somebody Say Neoliberalism? On the Uses and Limitations of a Critical Concept in Media and Communication Studies
Christian Garland and Stephen Harper

8. The Coolness of Capitalism Today
Jim McGuigan

9. Critical Political Economy of Communication and the Problem of Method 
Brice Nixon

10. “Feminism” as Ideology: Sarah Palin’s Anti-feminist Feminism and Ideology
Michelle Rodino-Colocino 

11. Propaganda as Production
Gerald Sussman

12. Updating Marx’s Concept of the Alternatives
Peter Ludes

13. Conceptualising and Subverting the Capitalist Academic Publishing Model
Wilhelm Peekhaus

14. Marx, Free Speech and the Indian Media
Padmaja Shaw

15. The Ideology of Media Policy in Argentina
Pablo Castagno

16. “Means of Communication as Means of Production” Revisited
William Henning James Hebblewhite 

17. Media and Power for 21st Century Socialism in Venezuela
Lee Artz

18. Dallas Smythe Today – The Audience Commodity, the Digital Labour Debate, Marxist Political Economy and Critical Theory. Prolegomena to a Digital Labour Theory of Value.
Christian Fuchs



Marx in the Age of Digital Capitalism

​ISBN: 9789004291386
Publication Date: October 2015

Edited by Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster and Vincent Mosco, Queen’s University

More than 130 years after Karl Marx’s death and 150 years after the publication of his opus magnum Capital: Critique of Political Economy, capitalism keeps being haunted by period crises. The most recent capitalist crisis has brought back attention to Marx’s works.

This volume presents 16 contributions that show how Marx’s analyses of capitalism, the commodity, class, labour, work, exploitation, surplus-value, dialectics, crises, ideology, class struggles, and communism, help us to understand the Internet and social media in 21st century digital capitalism.

Marx is back! This book is a key resource on the foundations of Marxist Internet and Digital Media Studies.


Table of contentsList of Tables and Figures
About the Authors

1. Introduction: Marx is Back – The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Communication Studies Today
Christian Fuchs and Vincent Mosco 

2. Towards Marxian Internet Studies
Christian Fuchs 

3. Digital Marx: Toward a Political Economy of Distributed Media
Andreas Wittel 

4. The Relevance of Marx’s Theory of Primitive Accumulation for Media and Communication Research
Mattias Ekman 

5. The Internet and “Frictionless Capitalism”
Jens Schröter 

6. Digital Media and Capital’s Logic of Acceleration
Vincent R. Manzerolle and Atle Mikkola Kjøsen 

7. How Less Alienation Creates More Exploitation? Audience Labour on Social Network Sites
Eran Fisher 

8. The Network’s Blindspot: Exclusion, Exploitation and Marx’s Process-Relational Ontology
Robert Prey

9. 3C: Commodifying Communication in Capitalism 
Jernej Prodnik 

10. The Construction of Platform Imperialism in the Globalisation Era
Dal Yong Jin 

11. Foxconned Labour as the Dark Side of the Information Age: Working Conditions at Apple’s Contract Manufacturers in China
Marisol Sandoval 

12. The Pastoral Power of Technology. Rethinking Alienation in Digital Culture
Katarina Giritli Nygren and Katarina L Gidlund 

13. The Problem of Privacy in Capitalism and Alternative Social Media: The Case of Diaspora*
Sebastian Sevignani 

14. ‘A Workers’ Inquiry 2.0’: An Ethnographic Method for the Study of Produsage in Social Media Contexts
Brian Brown and Anabel Quan-Haase 

15. Social Media, Mediation and the Arab Revolutions
Miriyam Aouragh 

16. Marx in the Cloud
Vincent Mosco 

To the Cloud: Big Data in a Turbulent World


Chosen as a 2014 Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title

May 2014 284 pages
Paradigm Publishers

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61205-616-6
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-61205-615-9

Book review

Book interview

In the wake of revelations about National Security Agency activities many of which occur in the cloud this book offers both enlightenment and a critical view. Cloud computing and big data are arguably the most significant forces in information technology today. In clear prose, To the Cloud explores where the cloud originated, what it means, and how important it is for business, government, and citizens. It describes the intense competition among cloud companies like Amazon and Google, the spread of the cloud to government agencies like the controversial NSA, and the astounding growth of entire cloud cities in China. From advertising to trade shows, the cloud and big data are furiously marketed to the world, even as dark clouds loom over environmental, privacy, and employment issues that arise from the cloud. Is the cloud the long-promised information utility that will solve many of the world s economic and social problems? Or is it just marketing hype? To the Cloud provides the first thorough analysis of the potential and the problems of a technology that may very well disrupt the world.

"Once again, Vinny Mosco is way ahead of the pack in understanding the great communication phenomena of our times. To the Cloud shines a powerful light on cloud computing, educating us all and providing critical analysis, nuance, and context. In the process, Mosco provides an indispensable resource for making sense of the digital age." --Robert W. McChesney, author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet against Democracy

"A towering figure in the political economy of communications, Vincent Mosco has taught generations of media scholars how to drill below the surface of corporate hype and decipher the sharp realities underlying apparently nebulous developments. Now he turns his formidable intelligence to the analysis of the cloud. This landmark publication is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the next phase of digital capitalism." --Ursula Huws, University of Hertfordshire Business School

"Vincent Mosco has brilliantly demystified cloud computing and big data. He looks through the clouds to ask critical questions about how these new systems are being used, who controls them, and what the consequences are. To the Cloud brings us back down to earth and is an essential source for understanding these important new developments." --Janet Wasko, University of Oregon

Contents

The Cloud Ate My Homework
From the Computer Utility to Cloud Computing
Selling the Cloud Sublime
Dark Clouds
Big Data and Cloud Culture



Getting the Message: Communication Workers and Global Value Chains

​Edited by Catherine McKercher, Vincent Mosco & Ursula Huws


ISBN: 9780850366761
Publication date: October 2010


Can knowledge workers of the world unite? This question becomes ever more urgent as telecommunications technology shrinks the world and as more and more work is based on creating, processing and transporting information.  


Communications, information and cultural workers hold together the new global value chains that characterise more and more industries. But, with employers responding to global crisis by exerting ever-greater pressure on wages and working conditions, will these workers be able to overcome national and language differences and the divisions between occupational groups to unite against them? 
This important collection brings together articles from around the world to assess the state of play. From striking IT workers in China to screenwriters in Hollywood, from postal workers to cartoonists, from librarians to logistics workers, what these workers have in common is that their work is not only embedded in global value chains but also necessary for modern communication to function. This includes communication among workers and the organisations that represent them. The message: knowledge workers can learn a lot from each other about how to understand - and resist - the global forces that are shaping their lives.


Contents: 'Let them move the mail with transistors instead of brains': labour convergence in posts and telecommunications, 1972-3, Caroline Nappo and Dan Schiller; Logistics workers and global logisitics: the heavy lifters of globalisation, Roger Sealey; Prospects for trade unions and labour organisations in India's IT and ITES industries, Andrew Stevens and Vincent Mosco; Will Chinese ICT workers unite?: new signs of change in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, Yu Hong; Across the great wall we can reach every corner in the world: network labour in China, Jack Linchuan Qiu; Librarians of the world unite?: Possibilities and realties from Florida USA, James F. Tracy and Maris L. Hayashi; Online Labour Markets: An inquiry into oDesk providers, Brett Caraway; Blogging the Writers Strike: Identity, interaction and engagement for collective action, Nina O'Brien; Social movement unionism or professionalism?: The union movement of Taiwanese documentary makers, Chang-de Liu; The global cartooning labour force: its problems and coping mechanisms, John A. Lent.



The Political Economy of Communication
Second Edition

April 2009 280 pages
SAGE Publications Ltd

Paperback ISBN: 9781412947015
Hardcover ISBN: 9781412947008

'Vincent Mosco's heavily revised and thoroughly updated Political Economy of Communication is a masterpiece. (It) is the one single indispensable book that all media students and scholars need to read to understand this vital and growing area of research.'
Robert W. McChesney
Gutgsell Endowed Professor
Department of Communication
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

'Mosco has done all students of communication a great service by updating this book. It captures, summarizes and illustrates an important set of voices and arguments, key interlocutors in the ongoing effort to construct a critical theory and analytic of contemporary communication and culture.'
Lawrence Grossberg
Morris Davis Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies and Cultural Studies; Adjunct Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Director of the University Program in Cultural Studies,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

'The Political Economy of Communication is a contemporary classic of media studies. Now, in this comprehensively revised second edition, Vincent Mosco, among the leading media scholars of our or any time, brings his searing insights and crystal prose to bear on the latest issues and debates of the field… An indispensable resource for researchers, activists, and students everywhere. It is a classic all over again.'
Toby Miller
Professor of English, Sociology, and Women’s Studies
University of California, Riverside

Contents

Overview of the Political Economy of Communication
What is Political Economy? Definitions and Characteristics
What is Political Economy? Schools of Thought
The Development of a Political Economy of Communication
The Political Economy of Communication: Building a Foundation
The Political Economy of Communication Today
Commodification: Content, Audiences, Labour
Spatialization: Space, Time and Communication
Structuration: Class, Gender, Race, Social Movements, Hegemony
Challenges on the Borders ... and Beyond 


The Laboring of Communication
​Vincent Mosco and Catherine McKercher, Lexington Books, 2008 


ISBN-13: 978-0739118139
ISBN-10: 0739118137

Technological change, corporate consolidation, and neoliberal governments pose significant challenges to labor, especially for workers in the communication and information industries. This book focuses on how traditional trade unions and new worker associations, many growing out of social movements, are coming together to address today’s crisis of organized labor. It documents the creative responses of

high tech and cultural workers in the mass media, telecommunications, and computer industries. Drawing on political economy, labor process, and feminist theory, it offers several ways of thinking about communication workers and the nature of the society in which they work. Based on interviews and the documentary record, the book provides case studies of successful and unsuccessful efforts among

both traditional and alternative worker organizations in the United States and Canada. It concludes by addressing the thorny issue of outsourcing, describing how global labor federations and nascent worker organizations in the developing world are coming together to develop solutions.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: New Responses to Bad Times for Organized Labor
Theorizing Knowledge Labor
Women and Work: Feminism and Political Economy
Convergence, Solidarity, and Labor Power: The Dream of One Big Union
Labor Convergence in the Information Economy
Beyond Business as Usual: Social Movement Unionism and Information Workers
Workers in a Changing Global Division of Labor
References

“While there are many texts describing the knowledge economy and organized labor's decline in North America, I know of no other book that tells the story of how knowledge workers are organizing through convergence in the face of technological change, growing corporate concentration, and neo-liberalism. Nor can I imagine a more compelling set of case studies through which to develop this critical narrative. This book is a welcome addition to scholarship in communication studies, labor studies, and women's studies.”
Leah Vosko, Canada Research Chair, York University

“In this textured empirical and theoretical examination of the workers in new media and information systems, Mosco and McKercher answer Castells' technology-focused network society with a critical sociological study of the conditions of work and the labor struggles in the making of the new global capitalist informational economy.”
Gerald Sussman, professor, Portland State University

“As more and more people line up to join the ranks of the creative class, figuring out how to empower and, if possible, protect them becomes a crucial part of our understanding of the global cultural economy. In this groundbreaking book, Mosco and McKercher offer the foundations for a such a critical analysis.”
Mark Deuze, author of Media Work and professor, Indiana University and Leiden University