[artinfo] Conference Call: Rethinking Power in Communicative Capitalism

Christian Fuchs christian.fuchs at uti.at
Fri May 6 12:44:38 CEST 2016

Rethinking Power in Communicative Capitalism.
Critical Perspectives on Media, Culture and Society

European Sociological Association Research Network 18:
Sociology of Communications and Media Research RN18 Mid-Term Conference

Venue: ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

September 8-10, 2016


Keynote Speakers:
Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges, NY, 
USA): Communicative capitalism and class struggle
Christian Fuchs (University of Westminster, UK): 
Karl Marx and communicative capitalism

Abstract submission deadline: May, 15, 2016
Notification of selected abstracts: June, 10, 2016
Conference dates: September 8-10, 2016

Please send your 250-400 words abstract to Romina 
Surugiu (University of Bucharest) 
romina.surugiu at fjsc.ro, Roy Panagiotopoulou 
(University of Athens) rpanag at media.uoa.gr, and 
Marisol Sandoval (City University London) 
marisol.sandoval.1 at city.ac.uk

The proliferation of digital media in the 21st 
century has once again shown the deeply 
ambivalent and contradictory potentials of 
technological development.
Digital technologies have been celebrated for 
enabling new levels of democratic communication, 
participatory media production, community 
building and media activism. From Wikipedia, to 
open source programming, open access publishing, 
and peer-to-peer file sharing, we have witnessed 
the rise of a range of alternative forms of 
communication and media production that seemed to 
challenge established media business models and 
momentarily contested corporate power.
However, far from decreasing the dominance of 
corporate media, the expansion of digital 
culture, the Internet and social media further 
strengthened the power of multinational 
corporations over media culture and human 
communication. Despite the rhetoric of 'social' 
media, sharing, community and collaboration, the 
majority of the digital media sphere remains 
privately owned and controlled. In this corporate 
media system, multinational corporations maintain 
almost exclusive control over large parts of the 
media and communication technology, 
infrastructure and content.
Power in communicative capitalism is uneven and 
corporate control confronts us with a range of 
problems such as the systematic surveillance of 
Internet users, an increasingly commercialised 
online environment, devastating environmental 
impacts of the production and usage of media 
technologies and the global exploitation of 
digital labour. (Digital) media technologies are 
deeply entangled with the on-going economic, 
social, environmental and political crises.
Mobilising the empowering qualities of digital 
technologies and their potential to contribute to 
progressive social change requires an effective 
critique of corporate dominance, challenging 
power inequalities and strengthening radical 
This conference invites contributions that offer 
a critical analysis of corporate media culture 
and alternatives to it and thus contribute to 
rethinking power in communicative capitalism.

Conference fees
80 Euro for ESA RN18 members / 100 Euros for non 
ESA RN18 members (conference dinner included)
60 Euro for ESA RN18 members / 80 Euros for non 
ESA RN18 members (without conference dinner)
25 Euro for students (Bachelor and Master) 
(without conference dinner) / 45 Euros 
(conference dinner included)

The registration details, including the 
registration form, will be available on the 
(http://dinamiacet.iscte-iul.pt/) on June 1, 2016.
You can become a member of ESA RN18 by joining 
the ESA and subscribing to the network. The 
network needs material support, so we encourage 
you to join or renew your membership. The network 
subscription fee is only 10 Euros:

Participation support for 4 PhD students and/or 
independent researchers will be available. This 
will not cover all costs, but part of them 
(accommodation and full conference fee). 
Preference will be given to presentations that 
suit the overall conference topic.
If you want to apply for participation support, 
please indicate this in your abstract submission 
by adding the sentence "I want to apply for 
participation support for PhD students / 
independent researchers". The notifications about 
participation support will be sent out together 
with the notifications of acceptance or rejection 
of presentations. Additional information to prove 
your condition as PhD student or independent 
researcher will be requested.

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