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Will the prosumer sourvive or itis:was just an utopia pgde

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Undeniably the increasing digitization of products and services, as well as many aspects of contemporary life changes the relationship between consumption and production, to the point that the role of the prosumer and the concept of prosumerism arise as interpretive paradigms of a reality in transition. The phenomenon of prosumerism in the digital society becomes ever more widespread and pervasive; despite not being a historically new phenomenon it has specific features in the global society, on the net and in the sphere of consumption. The objective of this contribution is to describe and analyze the role of the prosumer in contemporary society, through analysis of the literature and the main theoretical sociological approaches. Prosumers activity represent the fuel of Big Data, by a side result of free labor exploitation by the other as the result of an empowerment process of the subject. It is undeniable that analyzing the prosumer’s paradigm gives an opportunity of thinking the evolving power relationship i the global digital society. To this end, and as a starting point of our analysis, we believe it appropriate to reference the global society as the framework within which this and other complex social phenomena are the lifeblood and environment in which they spread. The heart of our subject, analysis of the role of the prosumer, hovering between being a producer and consumer, a representation of the contradiction of being a qualified subversive subject in respect of capitalist logic whilst at the same time being increasingly commercialized even more than in traditional discussions on brand. Central to the debate in question we feel it is important to consider how the agency, consistent or deviant compared to predefined templates of production and consumption, leads us to propose those which are our ideals of contemporary prosumer: Maker, Fixer, Tester and Sharer. Based on what is seen as the principle action contribution of the subject we can categorize them according to the types proposed. Our theoretical conception is that the role of the prosumer is the expression of a contradiction, a qualified, but at the same time, exploited person, voluntarily and forcibly, free and yet imprisoned. Prosumer as a result of a multiple utopian vision derived from the brandtopia, the cyberutopia, the Californian ideology and from the ecologist utopia. A subject who molds his awareness of freedom in the marketplace through the market, only partially aware of being qualified in some contexts and exploited in others even more than in traditional capitalist logic. Aswering to this question will lead to our conclusion placed upon the emphasis on the relationship between man and machine through the theoretical proposal of Ritzer who speculates upon the death of the human prosumer and the advent of prosuming machines, as opposed to our more utopian and romantic vision in which the prosumer can still find space and margins of resistance through its soft power.

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Will the prosumer sourvive or itis:was just an utopia pgde

  1. 1. Will the Prosumer Survive in Digital Society, or it is/ was just an utopia Piergiorgio Degli Esposti @pgde pg.degliesposti@unibo.it www.unibo.it/docenti/pg.degliesposti
  2. 2. Prosumer Literature Toffler “The Third Wave” 1980 Introduced the term Ritzer “McDonaldization” putting consumer to work Kotler “The Prosumer Movement : A New Challenge For Marketers” Fucks “Alienation and Exploitation of the Prosumer” Jenkins “Convergence Culture” The Power of the fans Lessig “Remix Culture” copyright and ownership Rifkin “ The Zero Marginal Cost Society” prosumer capitalism Botsman, Rogers “What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption” sharing economy and digital society
  3. 3. Hypothesis PRODUCTION CONSUMPTION PROSUMER not opposites but part of the same logic unit CONTRADICTION SUBJECT OBJECT
  4. 4. Prosumer’s Agency Makers Fixers SharersTesters
  5. 5. Utopian foundation of the prosumer Brandtopia Cyberutopia Californication Ecotopia Brands become central in nowadays life technology as a secular religion Green and eco sustainable development silicon valley mantra substitution of of the nation state with the entrepreneur
  6. 6. The rise of presuming machines •IoT & Actant Devices (Latour) •Death of human prosumer (Ritzer) •Terminator scenario Men vs Machines (Degli Esposti) “Skynet becomes self-aware at 02:14 am Eastern Time after its activation…
  7. 7. Conclusions Being prosumer is not a fad • Soft Power as a form or resistance - resilience • The “spontaneous” consent (Gramsci) - Power & Trust • Awareness of freedom in the market through the market
  8. 8. Comments & Questions: @pgde

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