Forthcoming Book: Digital Labour and Karl Marx

Forthcoming Book: Digital Labour and Karl Marx

I have signed a contract with Routledge for the book “Digital Labour and Karl Marx” and have submitted the manuscript. It has 150 000 words and is scheduled for being published by the end of 2013.

Christian Fuchs
Digital Labour and Karl Marx
Routledge
This books advances a Marxist theory of digital labour that is applied to the cases of ICT mineral slave workers in Africa, hardware assemblers in the Chinese Foxconn factories,, Indian software engineers, call centre agents, Google and other employees in Silicon Valley, unpaid social media prosumers. It also discusses the new working class struggles of Occupy and other movements for a democratic society and democratic Internet and provides a glossary of digital labour keywords.

Book blurb:
How is labour changing in the age of computers, the Internet, and “social media” such as Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter? In Digital Labour and Karl Marx, Christian Fuchs attempts to answer that question, crafting a systematic critical theorisation of labour as performed in the capitalist ICT industry. Relying on a range of global case studies – from unpaid social media prosumers or Chinese hardware assemblers at Foxconn to miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo – Fuchs sheds light on the labour costs of digital media, examining the way ICT corporations exploit human labour and the impact of this exploitation on the lives, bodies, and minds of workers.

Structure/Contents
Digital Labour and Karl Marx
Christian Fuchs

1. Introduction
1.1. The Need for Studying Digital Labour
1.2. The Disappearance and Return of Karl Marx
I. THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS OF STUDYING DIGITAL LABOUR
2. An Introduction to Karl Marx’s Theory
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Marx on Work and Labour
2.2.1. Work and Labour in Society
2.2.2. Labour in Class Societies and Capitalism
2.2.3. Work in Communism
2.3. Marx’s Labour Theory of Value
2.3.1. The German Debate on Marx’s Labour Theory of Value
2.3.2. A Reconstruction of Marx’s Labour Theory of Value
2.3.2.1. Use-Value and Value
2.3.2.2. Exchange-Value
2.3.2.3. Money and Price
2.3.2.4. The Value and Price of Labour Power
2.3.2.5. Surplus Value
2.4. Conclusion

3. Contemporary Cultural Studies and Karl Marx
3.1. Introduction
3.2. Lawrence Grossberg: Cultural Studies in the Future Tense
3.3. John Hartley: Digital Futures for Cultural and Media Studies
3.4. The Renewal of Cultural Studies
3.5. Conclusion

4. Dallas Smythe and Audience Labour Today
4.1. Introduction
4.2. The Importance of Critical Political Economy, Critical Theory and Dallas Smythe
4.3. The Renewal of the Audience Labour and Audience Commodity Debate
4.4. Digital Labour: Capital Accumulation and Commodification on Social Media
4.5. Ideology, Play and Digital Labour
4.6. A Critique of the Critique of Digital Labour
4.7. Conclusion

5. Capitalism or Information Society?
5.1. Introduction
5.2. A Classification of Information Society Theories
5.3. An Alternative View of the Information Society
5.4. Information Society Indicators: Measuring the Information Society
5.5. Conclusion

II. ANALYSING DIGITAL MEDIA: CASE STUDIES

6. Digital Slavery: Slave Work in ICT-Related Mineral Extraction
6.1. Introduction
6.2. Marx on Modes of Production
6.2.1. Unpaid Work in the Family as Mode of Production
6.2.2. Ancient and Feudal Slavery as Modes of Production
6.2.3. The Capitalist Mode of Production
6.2.4. Informational Productive Forces
6.3. Digital Media and Minerals
6.4. The Productive Forces of Mineral Extraction in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry. Labour Power and the Objects, Tools and Products of Labour
6.5. The Relations of Production of Mineral Extraction in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry
6.6. Conclusion

7. Exploitation at Foxconn: Primitive Accumulation and the Formal Subsumption of Labour
7.1. Introduction
7.2. The Productive Forces of Foxconn in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry. Labour Power and the Objects, Tools and Products of Labour
7.3. The Relations of Production of Foxconn in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry
7.4. Conclusion

8. The Division of Labour of the New Imperialism: Work in the Indian Software Industry
8.1. Introduction
8.2. The Productive Forces of the Indian Software Industry in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry. Labour Power and the Objects, Tools and Products of Labour
8.3. The Relations of Production of the Indian Software Industry in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry
8.4. Conclusion

9. The Silicon Valley of Dreams and Nightmares of Exploitation: The Google Labour Aristocracy and its Context
9.1. Introduction
9.2. The Productive Forces of Silicon Valley in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry. Labour Power and the Objects, Tools and Products of Labour
9.3. The Relations of Production of Google in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry
9.4. Conclusion

10. Tayloristic, Housewifised Service Labour: The Example of Call Centre Work
10.1. Introduction
10.2. The Productive Forces of the Call Centre in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry. Labour Power and the Objects, Tools and Products of Labour
10.3. The Relations of Production of the Call Centre in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry
10.4. Conclusion

11. Theorising Digital Labour on Social Media
11.1. Introduction
11.2. Users and the Productive Forces in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry. Labour Power and the Objects, Tools and Products of Labour
11.3. Users and the Relations of Production in the Global Value Chain of the ICT Industry
11.3.1. Digital Work
11.3.2. Digital Labour
11.3.3. Digital Labour and the Law of Value
11.4. Conclusion

III. CONCLUSIONS

12. Digital Labour and Struggles for Digital Work – The Occupy Movement as a New Working Class Movement? Social Media as Working Class Social Media?
12.1. Conclusion of Chapters 2-11
12.2. Digital Work and the Commons
12.3. The Occupy Movement: A New Working Class Movement?
12.3.1. Social Movement Theory
12.3.2. The Occupy Movement in Contemporary Political Theory
12.3.3. The Occupy Movement’s Self-Understanding
12.3.4. What is the Occupy Movement?
12.4. Occupy, Digital Work and Working Class Social Media
12.4.1. Social Movements, the Internet and Social Media
12.4.2. The Occupy Movement and Social Media
12.4.2.1. Position 1 – Technological Determinism: The Occupy Movement (and other Rebellions) are Internet Rebellions.
12.4.2.2. Position 2 – Social Constructivism: We have been Witnessing Social Rebellions and Social Revolutions, where Social Media Have Had Minor Importance. Social Media are No Relevant Factor in Rebellions.
12.4.2.3. Position 3: Dualism: Social Media have been an Important Tool of the Occupy Movement. There are Technological and Societal Causes of the Movement.
12.4.2.4. Position 4: Social Media and Contradictions: A Dialectical View
12.4.3. A Theoretical Classification of Social Media Use in the Occupy Movement
12.5. Conclusion

13. Digital Labour Keywords
65 keywords for studying digital labour (starting with “Abstract and concrete labour”, ending with “Work”)

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