In times of global capitalist crisis we are witnessing a return of critique in the form of a surging interest in critical theories (such as the critical political economy of Karl Marx) and social rebellions as a reaction to the commodification and instrumentalization of everything. On one hand, there are overdrawn claims that social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc) have caused uproars in countries like Tunisia and Egypt. On the other hand, the question arises as to what actual role social media play in contemporary capitalism, crisis, rebellions, the strengthening of the commons, and the potential creation of participatory democracy. The commodification of everything has resulted also in a commodification of the communication commons, including Internet communication that is today largely commercial in character.

This book deals with the questions of what kind of society and what kind of Internet are desirable, how capitalism, power structures and social media are connected, how political struggles are connected to social media, what current developments of the Internet and society tell us about potential futures, how an alternative Internet can look like, and how a participatory, commons-based Internet and a co-operative, participatory, sustainable information society can be achieved.

chapter 1|47 pages


Critique, Social Media and the Information Society in the Age of Capitalist Crisis

part I|57 pages

Critical Studies of the Information Society

part II|109 pages

Critical Internet- and Social Media-Studies

chapter 6|16 pages

Great Refusal or Long March

How to Think About the Internet

chapter 7|19 pages

Producing Consumerism

Commodities, Ideologies, Practices

chapter 8|21 pages

Social Media?

The Unsocial Character of Capitalist Media

chapter 10|12 pages

Alienation's Returns

chapter 11|12 pages

Social Media and Political Participation

Discourse and Deflection

chapter 12|13 pages

“The Architecture of Participation”

For Citizens or Consumers?

part III|44 pages

Critical Studies of Communication Labour

chapter 13|12 pages

Precarious Times, Precarious Work

A Feminist Political Economy of Freelance Journalists in Canada and the United States

chapter 14|17 pages

Flight as Fight

Re-Negotiating the Work of Journalism

chapter 15|13 pages

Marx is Back, but Will Knowledge Workers of the World Unite?

On the Critical Study of Labour, Media and Communication Today