Marx and the Political Economy of the Media


More than 130 years after Karl Marx’s death and 150 years after the publication of his opus magnum Capital: Critique of Political Economy, capitalism keeps being haunted by period crises. The most recent capitalist crisis has brought back attention to Marx’s works. This volume presents 18 contributions that show how Marx’s analyses of capitalism, the commodity, class, labour, work, exploitation, surplus-value, dialectics, crises, ideology, class struggles, and communism help us to understand media, cultural and communications in 21st century informational capitalism. Marx is back! This book is a key resource on the foundations of Marxist Media, Cultural and Communication Studies.
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Biographical Note

Christian Fuchs is professor at the University of Westminster and editor of the open access online journal tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. He is author of works such as Culture and Economy in the Age of Social Media or Digital Labour and Karl Marx (Routledge, 2015). Vincent Mosco is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Queen's University where he was Canada Research Chair in Communication and Society and head of the Department of Sociology. He is author of books such as To the Cloud: Big Data in a Turbulent World (Paradigm Publishers, 2014) and The Political Economy of Communication (Sage, 2009).

Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures About the Authors 1. Introduction: Marx is Back – The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Communication Studies Today Christian Fuchs and Vincent Mosco 2. Marx is Back, But Which One? On Knowledge Labour and Media Practice Vincent Mosco 3. Cultural Work as a Site of Struggle: Freelancers and Exploitation Nicole S. Cohen 4. Against Commodification: The University, Cognitive Capitalism and Emergent Technologies Richard Hall and Bernd Stahl 5. Communication and Symbolic Capitalism. Rethinking Marxist Communication Theory in the Light of the Information Society George Pleios 6. Missing Marx: The Place of Marx in Current Communication Research and the Place of Communication in Marx’s Work İrfan Erdogan 7. Did Somebody Say Neoliberalism? On the Uses and Limitations of a Critical Concept in Media and Communication Studies Christian Garland and Stephen Harper 8. The Coolness of Capitalism Today Jim McGuigan 9. Critical Political Economy of Communication and the Problem of Method Brice Nixon 10. “Feminism” as Ideology: Sarah Palin’s Anti-feminist Feminism and Ideology Michelle Rodino-Colocino 11. Propaganda as Production Gerald Sussman 12. Updating Marx’s Concept of the Alternatives Peter Ludes 13. Conceptualising and Subverting the Capitalist Academic Publishing Model Wilhelm Peekhaus 14. Marx, Free Speech and the Indian Media Padmaja Shaw 15. The Ideology of Media Policy in Argentina Pablo Castagno 16. “Means of Communication as Means of Production” Revisited William Henning James Hebblewhite 17. Media and Power for 21st Century Socialism in Venezuela Lee Artz 18. Dallas Smythe Today – The Audience Commodity, the Digital Labour Debate, Marxist Political Economy and Critical Theory. Prolegomena to a Digital Labour Theory of Value. Christian Fuchs Index


All students, scholars, activists, citizens interested in Marx, media, culture and communication studies.