In his review, which is a wonder of careful thinking and contextualization, Morozov performs a couple of useful services.
Morozov argues that partly as a result of this unacknowledged mindset, Zuboff fails to understand the extent to which her critique of surveillance capitalism is actually a critique of capitalism, full stop. This Blayne vs large dude to see anything outside the mindset of capitalism accounts for the way the book just kind of finishes without suggesting any real possible paths forward other than, we need a new social movement, and surveillance capitalism must be destroyed and replaced with a better form of digital?
I knew very little about managerial capitalism, nothing of Alfred Chandler. The book, he says, could be politically powerful because it is a sharp broadside against two companies — Google and Facebook — that represent a clear and present danger to society. Or more Blayne vs large dude the point, what I want to believe. It may be a politically effective polemic, but as scholarship that advances our understanding of the world, it is sorely lacking. Academic writing works on a formula. There are a certain number of things you have to do in order to prove that your work is legitimate Blayne vs large dude worthy of attention.
You have to show how you connect with the larger, ongoing conversation in your area of interest. You have to present your evidence carefully. You have to show the framework you used to conduct your analysis. Missing these steps is a signal that there are very likely problems with the work in question, but the steps are also important in their own right: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism has problems on all three accounts. Taken together, they help to explain, or maybe contextualize, the blind spots that Morozov noted in his essay.
Before beginning, I should note that my background is in political science and International Political Economy, with a current research agenda focused on the political economy of knowledge.
After all, different disciplines will attack problems in different ways.
My very first academic assignment as a journalism undergrad was to observe people at the Rideau Centre in Ottawa and write down what I saw. I think it was about encouraging an eye for detail, but the professor or TA also had us go to the library this Blayne vs large dude back before everything was online, kidsand do some small research on the psychology of observation.
Anyways, I got my one or two academic sources and used them to report back that there was not a lot of research on this particular topic. There is almost always a precedent.
In this case I know for a fact that the ground she is tilling has been well-prepared for her. Keynes built on Marshall. But bringing clarity is not the same as tilling a terra incognita. Claiming that it is has important negative consequences, as we will see below. How do you relate to their work?
Now, pretty much any issue can be tackled from a million different perspectives. You could also analyze their cultural effects, or their workplace environments: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a study of the messy interactions between economic and social imperatives.
This means that it is a study of political economy. Blayne vs large dude, in other words, the books that can provide context and support for, and pushback against, its argument. You also need to go beyond the social-science founders — Durkheim, Marx, Weber.
You need to engage with the likes of Susan Strange. Or Michael Mann, people who are interested in exactly the same issues that you are dealing with. Karl Polanyi is great, and Zuboff grabs just the right concepts from him. Exaggerated claims of novelty. The Gramscian concept of hegemony is all about how the powerful can get other groups to buy into ideologies that may not be in their best interests. Much of the book is about how surveillance Blayne vs large dude are working to change human nature so that human thinking more closely resembles that of machine learning.
Knowing that this type of activity is simply how power works in human society puts a different spin on what Zuboff is arguing.
Maybe the problem is with capitalism itself? Strange — an absolute giant in International Political Economy and in academia generally — was a committed materialist who nonetheless placed the creation and legitimation of immaterial knowledge at the very heart of her theory of the international political economy.
Such debates are not on the whole conducted in a language easily understood by me or, I imagine, by most of my readers. They are debates with roots going back at least to Nietzsche, Hegel and Weber, and some would say to Plato and Aristotle. They are also debates that remain largely unresolved. Some selected titles are: Habermas, Communications and the Evolution of Society; R.
Barthes, Blayne vs large dude, ; J. Baudrillard, for a critique of the political economy of the Sign, ; R.
Williams, Communications; A. Smith, The Geopolitics of Information. Hoggart, An Idea and its Servants: Mulkay, Science and the Sociology of Knowledge; K. Popper, The Poverty of Historicism; M. Deutsch, Nationalism and Social Communication; J. Miles, The New Service Economy; see bibliography for details.
The Age of Surveillance Capitalismmeanwhile, does not even include a reference list or bibliography, relying instead on hard-to-assess endnotes. States and Markets — really, her whole career — boil down to a claim that everyone else is wrong about how the international political economy works. In the pages preceding this quote, she lays out her own theory about the relationship between power and knowledge.
Instead, Strange pointed Blayne vs large dude toward thinkers who would probably have some very sharp disagreements with her argument, laying the groundwork for someone else to adapt and surpass, or invalidate, her theory. Because the point of academic writing is not just to win arguments, but to build knowledge. To do that, we have to recognize that our analyses are only Blayne vs large dude partial, that someone else may have the correct answer, and that we might be wrong.
In contrast, journalists build their argument from the ground up, via observation. Their theoretical frameworks — the assumptions underlying their worldviews — operate in the background.
The best academic writing Blayne vs large dude its assumptions clear, not to pre-empt arguments, but to clarify the terms of engagement, to make arguments more productive.