Culture & Economy Facebook


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  • Culture and economy analysed separately But with cultural turn, emergence of a belief that something called ‘culture’ is both somehow critical to understanding what is happening to as well as intertwining with economics and organisational life. Culture assumed enhance significance and explanatory weight More academics putting culture questions closer to center of their calculations This can be seen in the development of economic geography theory! Structuralist organisational apporach, focus on marxism, various economic schs, transactions Scholars like David Harvey and his work on the Marxist political economy Cultural turn 1980s, new economic geography which takes into account social, cultural, and institutional factors in the spatial economy. Scholars talk about embeddedness, culture, trust, production of meaning. Scholar Thrift: Performing Cultures in the New Economy. managers manage culture in order to compete effectively in increasing globalised and knowledge based economy. this is because managers encouraged to view the most effective or excellent organisation as those with the ‘right culture’ – that ensemble of norms and techniques of conduct that enable the self actualisating capacities of individuals to become aligned with goals and objectives of the org for which they work, make new meaning at work – unleash creativity of workers Debates have come out from this development, increasing cultural base of analysis, Dr Zang says your choose one you lose the other.
  • Vast segmaents of the output of the modern economy are inscribed with significant cultural contenct whicle culture iteself is incrasingly being supplied in the form of commodified goods and services. Of late years, socailscientis sfrom many different fields have pointed out that the economuc is irrtrievable embedded in the cultural and have responded to this insight by calling for a vigourous cultural geography of economic practices. Non dichotomous belief that ‘ has provoked such uneasy, not to say angry, reactions, among some {economic) geographers’ (McDowell, 2000) Not hard to understand why uneasy – of distinction is useless then the economy can no longer be a distinct object of analysis, the economy can no longer be invoked as a causal factor to explain other things and economic geog therefore loses its existance or reasion. DR ZHANG Harvey as shown in Mcdowells reading: empahsis the continued significance of dialectical materialism - The basic idea of dialectical materialism is that every economic order grows to a state of maximum efficiency, while at the same time developing internal contradictions or weaknesses that contribute to its decay. Others compromise – take the middle way on the culture economy question Position that economy and culture are densely imbircated yet by no means the same demand new ways of theorizing the complex connections between the economic and the social (McDOwell) Cultural What I intend to argue here is that this opposition is unnecessary and misleading. Middle way taken four forms Realms of culture are increasingly economised Economic activites culturally embedded Economic is now materalised through cultural – modern economomies incresingly produce, circulate and consume cultural comodiies Culturalisation – implosed that culture is more central in economic relations Implicitly good, who is against more culture Economisation fo culture, economic relations are now more central to cutlure – commodification, might be bad McDowell take beyond forget about debate, see how insteraction of to can result in social kustice and ref of inequality
  • The creative industries are not just “arts industries”, “media industries” or produced by “creative professions”. Of course they are an industry that values creativity and are driven by creative production and consumption, they are characterized however by something rather different – which are social networks. The creative industry I am talking about here, in particular Facebook, is a form of social network market. In this market, people’s choices are not determined by self-interest, it’s is not exactly the individualist or rational choice that economics have always been talking about. In social network market, choices are produced by relationships. What a person consumes depend largely on the choices of the others in the same network. So for example, whether to actually create a facebook account or not depends on whether people in your social circle are using it. Within facebook itself, the choice to whether using a certain application, join a certain group, participate in a certain event also largely depend on whether people in your social circle are doing the same thing. Also, choices made in this social network market is status-based. Unlike in a neoclassical market that choices made are meant to satisfy needs or wants, choices made in a social network market is an expression of status. The more popular choices would be embraced while the less popular ones would be avoided. What you consume decides who you are and what your status would be*. This notion of social capital and identity will be further discussed by Hannah. In addition to this, the creative industry and in particular the social network market is a form of “attention economy”. People value the attention they give and receive. Instead of money, people are investing in time, creativity and sometimes material resources to attract more attention. They also value paying attention to value others. In facebook, this is done through liking, commenting or tagging people in status, links and photos. So, people participating in a social network market are both consumers and producers. They decide what socio-cultural goods are popular, what goods are made and what information to diffuse. Through making contact with other people, making their own creative content, such as photos, texts or games, the “consumer” now becomes the drive and focus of this productivity system. In this creative industry, you cant make choices for the consumers, they are doing the social-networking themselves. What people are doing is about their status, what they like, and their own identify forming activities with people in their social circle. In this essence, the creative industry is not an economic market, but a network market and a socio-cultural project. Next, I will be talking about the use of viral marketing in Facebook. In the creative industry, be it the film industry, fashion industry or social network market like the Facebook, viral marketing has become an important mechanism to transmit information. In Facebook for example, companies have created fan pages or apps in which Facebook users can join. Without even doing much, as soon as someone becomes a fan of the page or uses the app, friends are immediately notified through their news feeds. Each time someone joins a group, play a game, share a link, people find out. This dramatically increases advertisers returns on appvertising and community initiatives. For every one person the advertisers or firms engage, dozens more are notified and the effect snowballs. Viral marketing in this industry depends on network effects and as a social networking site, Facebook offers an efficient and ideal environment for viral campaigns. The Facebook also acts as a form of cyber-capitalism, in which instead of accumulating capital i.e. money what people are trying to do in this industry is to accumulate friends. This is done through snowballing, by adding one friend, you expand your social circle slightly and in turn attracts more attention to your Facebook activities and more people will be able to find you through the friend of friends network. Through investing time and attention on your user profile, whether writing on your wall or posting new photos, you increase the amount of attention you get through updates on people’s news feeds. And when people comment or like it, it generates more attention. Therefore, both through accumulating more friends and investing more time and effort in Facebook, the return or pay-off is more attention. There are of course other issues related to this form of cyber-capitalism and it is not just simply for attention. It can be done to increase social capital or identity formation which I will hand over to hannah to talk about it now.
  • Social capital can be defined as “features of social life- networks, norms and trust- that enable participants to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives” according to Robert Putnam (1995). This essentially means that the “wealth” that you accumulate is in terms of networks, connections, similar goals, exchange of information and the platform for entrepreneurship. However, social networks are more exclusive and is based on the practices of inclusion and exclusion and so are not considered an accessible “public good” (Mohan et al ., 2002) as social capital. With the internet as a “social space” (Standlee, 2008) and increasing importance of online communities and what connections you have through these communities and groups, social capital and network can be applied to facebook as it is available to the general public and is free but at the same time it excludes people who don’t have access to the internet and younger people. And who you decide to add as a friend and how you want to build your social network is up to you. However, facebook is also a social capital because of their third-party applications and features it has, allows users to connect and interact with other users who have common interests and build relationships. Facebook can be viewed as a cyber platform where online communities, online businesses, MNCs, the media and blogs use facebook to connect with one another and/or to reach out and target a wider audience and clients than in the past. So facebook can be used to build up your “wealth” and social resources and be beneficial to you be it economically, socially, culturally or politically. “ Cyber-culture” (Standlee, 2008) has come about with the increase of internet users that build social networks and relationships in cyberspace. This space has “its own set of norms, hierarchy, ideals and expectations” (Standlee, 2008) and people who engage in cyberspace are contributing to this culture. Facebook and its users have definitely contributed to “cyber-culture” as users are driven to update their lives and know what is happening to friends and people around them. It has also led to the creation or recreation of an individual’s identity. Creating one’s identity provides a sense of power and control and who you are and what friends you have defines you. This is a component of “cyber-culture”, being in control of your virtual identity. However, with this kind of power there will always be abuses and corruption. So there is a need for regulation and control in cyberspace, this will be discussed further by Hazariah.
  • Why: -internet predators -availability of information for state surveillance Performative Surveillance:   Following Foucault’s notion of discipline, the internet and facebook as a phenomenon falls easily under the panoptic gaze. The concept of the state government as masked power constantly watching, or potentially watching the content of electronic communication, operating on the bodies and space performing through the network. Focuses on the mechanism, rather than the actual potential for surveillance. Panopticon works by disciplines, through establishing norms through institution, transmitted to individuals and then punished if the culture and norms are violated.   In the case of Facebook, discipline is enforced through rigorous policing of fake profiles, through the need to use real email addresses and the prohibition against fake profile listed in Code of Conduct and in Terms of Use. It takes only one user to report a fake profile for it to be removed.   However, the most significant form of regulation is self-policing, where users usually tend to perform their roles online similar to the way they perform their roles in face-to-face interaction. A form of internalized Panopticon, individuals police their own behaviour based on a set of cultural norms and a set of naturalized ideas about what is correct. The Panopticon is effective, because individuals are surveyed and punished directly by others, rather than an institution. Surveillance therefore comes in the form of affirmation and denying the performance of the Self encountered by users.  
  • China Case Study:   On July 2009, an ethnic riot broke out in China’s western province of Xinjiang, between the Han Chinese and the Uighurs. What began as a protest about a brawl at the other end of the country, eventually became China’s bloodiest incident of civil unrest since the massacre that ended at Tiananmen Square 20 years ago. Following the escalation of violence and pandemonium, the government of China immediately resorted to restrict internet and mobile telephone communications, especially on social networking sites – Facebook and Twitter. However, in closer examination of the ethnic riot, we also see how it was essentially promoted by underlying economic factors where the influx of Hans Chinese in the province, along with the government’s preferential treatment towards them had resulted in the loss of jobs of the Uighurs. The Uighur population feel as if they were treated like second-class citizens, and were deprived of a slice of the economic pie. Therefore we see how Facebook was banned in China, namely because of its potential to destabilize the society through promotion of anti-government ideologies, in trying to organize protests across the country and also to prevent unwanted intervention of foreign elements. So essentially, Facebook was not passively consumed ! It was utilized as a site to unite or gather people to call for change or to organise resistance against cultural / economic issues !
  • However, with China’s ban on Facebook, we see the emergence of new social networking sites, namely Renren, which has currently over 160 million users. Renren, or “everyone” in Chinese, has similar blue-and-white Facebook user interface, carries advertisement for Daimler AG’s Mercedes Benz and China’s Mobile Communication Corps, and sells space on their website for advertising. According to Renren’s general manager, “Our service is basically the same as Facebook’s, in terms of function and features, except that we’re tailored to the Chinese market”. Here we see how the government’s supported has promoted wide useage of Renren, which plans to take advantage of restrictions on internet rivals. Perhaps it can therefore be seen as the government’s effort in trying to spur the growth of its own virtual economy, through acculturation of the social networking site, culturally Chinese specific. Therefore, in accordance to what Mitchell wrote, we can see how Facebook and internet culture can be examined as forms of continual struggle and negotiation -- and that it was fully imbricated in the workings of the political economy (46)
  • This Black American Industrial Complex (BAIC) group was formed on Facebook, proposing for a plan of action for Blacks to create, a new prosperous and empowered community to build upon the yet unrealized competitive advantages of Black America. It aims to promote political and self-sufficiency of the Black Americans.
  • This is a Facebook Group organised to protest against the G20 Summit and to instead call for direct action (as quoted off the page) “against the banks and government in support of the working classes, to stop mass globalization and exploitation of the poor.
  • Here we see an 18-year-old college student who utilized Facebook to organise students from many different schools in New Jersey to protest the state’s budget cut in education. Therefore, from all these examples, we see how Facebook, as an economic virtual tool has been acculturated, and utilized as a site to promote ideologies, resistance and also to gather support transcending time, space and spatial restrictions.
  • Culture & Economy Facebook

    1. 1. <ul><li>Culture and Economy </li></ul>
    2. 2. <ul><li>Economy and culture once cast as “self” and “other” (Crang,1997) </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretical developments with the cultural turn </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Lagendijk 2006 </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>THEORITICAL DEBATES </li></ul><ul><li>Economy - culture distinction ‘is now quite useless’ (Hall, 1988) </li></ul><ul><li>Economy - culture distinction still holds (Harvey, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘middle way’ (Crang, 1997) (McDowell, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>-Economisation of culture </li></ul><ul><li>-Culturalisation of the economy </li></ul>
    4. 4. FACEBOOK- THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY <ul><li>Social network market </li></ul><ul><li>- Choice to consume is determined by the choices of others in the same network </li></ul><ul><li>- Choices made are status-based </li></ul><ul><li>- “Attention economy” </li></ul><ul><li>Viral marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>App vertising </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Cyber-capitalism” </li></ul><ul><li>- Accumulation of resources </li></ul><ul><li>- Investment </li></ul>
    5. 5. SOCIAL CAPITAL, NETWORK & “CYBER-CULTURE” <ul><li>Social Capital </li></ul><ul><li>- an accessible “public good” </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network </li></ul><ul><li>- inclusion and exclusion </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cyber-culture” </li></ul><ul><li>- norms based on shared experiences and virtual location not on common history and physical location </li></ul><ul><li>(Re)creation of identity </li></ul>
    6. 6. SURVEILLANCE <ul><li>Why surveillance? </li></ul><ul><li>Panopticon </li></ul><ul><li>Self-policing (community users, individuals) </li></ul>
    7. 7. CHINA’S FACEBOOK BAN,8599,1908785,00.html
    9. 11.
    10. 12.
    11. 14. REFERENCES <ul><li>Ellison, N., Steinfield, C., and Lampe, C. (2006). ‘Spatially bounded online social networks and social capital: The role of Facebook’, Annual Conference of the International Communication Association , 1-37. </li></ul><ul><li>Westlake, E.J. (2008). ‘Friend Me if You Facebook: Generation Y and Performative Surveillance’, MIT Press Journals , 52 (4). </li></ul><ul><li>Joinson, A. N. (2008). ‘Looking at, Looking up or Keeping up with People: Motives and uses of Facebook’, CHI 2008 Proceedings: Online Social Networks , 1027-1036. </li></ul><ul><li>Mitchell, D. (2000). ‘Cultural studies and the new cultural geography’, in Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction . Oxford: Blackwell,37-65. </li></ul><ul><li>Mohan, G., and Mohan, J. (2002). ‘Placing Social Capital’, Progress in Human Geography , 26: 191-210. </li></ul><ul><li>Putnam, R. (1995a). ‘Tuning in, Tuning out: The strange disappearance of social capital in America’, Political Science and Politics , 28: 667-683. </li></ul><ul><li>Standlee, A. (2008). ‘Sims, Skins and Avatars: Culture and Identity in the Age of Internet’, Dissertation Proposal: Department of Sociology, Syracuse University , 1-11. </li></ul>
    12. 15. <ul><li>WEBSITES </li></ul><ul><li>,8599,1908785,00.html </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
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