Learning to Immaterial Labour 2.0: MySpace and Social Networks

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Coté, Mark and Pybus, Jennifer (2007) Learning to Immaterial Labour 2.0: MySpace and Social Networks. Ephemera, 7 (1). pp. 88-106. ISSN 1473-2866

Abstract

Why did News Corporation spend $580 million on MySpace, one of the fastest growing websites on the internet? Our contention is that it contains a dynamic new source of creative power: what we call ‘immaterial labour 2.0’. MySpace is where (mostly) youth ‘learn’ to expand their cultural and communicative capacities by constructing online subjectivities in an open-ended process of becoming. The labour performed therein is one of modulation and variation in the networked formations that result in an exponential expansion of discrete nodes of both affect and affinity and of potential surplus value. We present immaterial labour 2.0 as an ambivalent modality of both biopower and biopolitical production, and as an exemplar of the paradigm shift underway in our interface with popular culture, media, and information and communication technology. By recalling Dallas Smythe’s ‘audience commodity’ we contrast the ‘producibility’ of subjects in relation to broadcast media with the ‘productivity’ of immaterial labour 2.0 in social networks like MySpace.

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/7763
Official URL http://www.ephemeraweb.org/journal/7-1/7-1index.ht...
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Current > FOR Classification > 2001 Communication and Media Studies
Keywords ResPubID22321. social networks, networking, immaterial labour 2.0, MySpace, education
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