Mediating Social Media's Ambivalences in the Context of Informational Capitalism

Mediating Social Media's Ambivalences in the Context of Informational Capitalism

Marco Briziarelli (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA) and Eric Karikari (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJCESC.2016010101
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This essay explores the dialectics of media, by considering the socially reproductive and transformative function of social media from a political economic perspective. The authors claim that while media have consistently generated aspirations and fear of social change, their powerful capability of shaping societies depend on the historically specific social relations in which media operate. They engage such an argument by examining how the productive relations that support user generated content practices such as the ones of Facebook users affect social media in their capability to reproduce and transform existing social contexts. In the end, the authors maintain that the most prominent mediation of social media consists of the ambivalent nature of current capitalist mode of production: a contest in which exploitative/emancipatory as well as reproductive/transformative aspects are articulated by liberal ideology.
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Utopia And Dystopia In Social Mediation And Social Formations

The process of social formation— i.e. how a given society comes to organize itself through time— and the process of social mediation— i.e. different elements/subjects come to interact, communicate and exchange of information among each other, are indissolubly united. That is because both processes are based on the production and reproduction of social relations. In fact, media could not exist without a preexisting social field and a sense of sociability. At the same time, a social community could not be constructed without an adequate means of communication and social coordination.

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