Homepage: Present and Previous Positions. - present Professor of Media. Request PDF on ResearchGate | Mediatization of popular culture of popular culture runs through four phases [Fornäs ]. he irst is. for instance, in Johan Fornäs' and Charis Xinaris' () article on mediated Stig Hjarvard's The mediatization of culture and society (), Andreas media/documents/project/ accessed 31 July ).

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NOMOR /MENKES/SK/VIII/ Menimbang. Mengingat. TENT ANG. FORMULARIUM NASIONAL. DENGAN RAHMAT TUHAN YANG MAHA ESA. I will return to this towards the end. Fornäs, Johan: 'Introducing Capitalism: Current Crisis and Cultural Critique', Culture Unbound, Volume 6, 15– Johan Fornäs, Södertörn University, Media and Communication Studies Department, TidOrdUngdompdfmore .. Till minne av Stuart Hall ( ).

I will start this introduction by offering a personal reflection on why and in which respects I find cultural dimensions necessary for contemporary critiques of capitalism, well knowing that there are lots of other positions in the current debate with divergent priorities. At the end, I will then present the articles in this themat- ic section of Culture Unbound.

The relation between economy and culture can be understood in many different ways. One may apply economic perspectives to cultural phenomena or vice versa, e. Whatever the starting point, one is soon entangled in a more complexly dynamic, mutual and indeed dialectical inter- play between capitalism and culture, inviting Marxist economy critique and cul- tural studies to fruitfully interact more dialogically than before.

Instead of seeing communicative, symbolic and signifying processes as belonging to a sec- ondary or mirroring superstructure upon a material basis, or perhaps as the mar- ginalised antithesis of economics, such cultural dimensions should now at last be understood as that core element of capitalism they have actually always been.

Already at the root of commodity analysis, use-values should not be reified in- to just physical materialities. Using a commodity to show others who you are, or who you want to be, is as much a use as is eating it. Commodi- ty consumption is not an individual relation between one human body and one material good but a relation between socioculturally situated and saturated sub- jects and commodities.

There is thus from beginning to end an intimate dialectic of material and symbolic aspects, rather than a purely material basis on which a cultural superstructure of more or less false appearances and ideologies are later superimposed.

If mediatisation and culturalisation processes in late modernity have expanded the scope of communi- cative and signifying practices, this is therefore no clean historical break, but ra- ther a continuation of a basic capitalist tendency.

This line of dialectical ideology critique may be traced from commodity fetish- ism at the beginning of Capital, Volume I, to money and capital fetishism and then to the Trinitarian formula in Capital, Volume III. Its implication is that the defining cultural processes of signifying practices are far from derivative, mirror- ing or in any way innocent superstructures. Instead, they are at the core of capital- ism. Janice Peck has made similar arguments in an effort to mediate between political economy and cultural studies.

UK and US media studies are unhappily divided between these two camps, though they are more interconnected else- where, including Scandinavia. Peck refers to Nicholas Garnham and Lawrence Grossberg as key representatives of each camp, and contends that both treat econ- omy and culture or materiality and meaning as two distinct areas.

She instead argues for reconstructing capitalist commodity production and signifying practice as intrinsically interwoven. It will then become evident that the world has long dreamed of possessing something of which it has only to be conscious in order to possess it in reality. It will become evident that it is not a question of drawing a great mental dividing line between past and future, but of realising the thoughts of the past. In Grundrisse a decade later, he likewise argued for realising the immanent poten- tials of history rather than drawing a fundamental line of difference between the past and the future: And again in the commentary on the Paris Commune of And Theodor W.

While the transcendent critique contrasts the prevailing social and cultural conditions with an external ideal image of how things ought to be, dialectical immanent criti- cism instead makes conscious the inner contradictions, conflicts, tensions and ambivalences in, for instance, media culture. Feminist theorists have productively developed similar ideas.

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In their dialogue on redistribution and recognition, Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth Albena Azmanova This would also imply an immanent critique focusing on inner con- tradictions in the capitalist social world as the basis for all emancipatory theory and practice. Immanent critique thus implies that the critique of capitalism should focus on its inner contradictions and ambivalently identify its authoritarian as well as emancipatory potentials in developing a communicative ethics of demystification and denaturalisation.

Understandings are rooted in social interaction. Both the reproduction and the fall of capitalism de- pend on cultural processes involving collective meaning-making. Instead of choosing between a material and a cultural understanding of capital- ism, the point may be to look upon how these two sides are intrinsically inter- locked.

Both Freud and Marx emphasized the social and historical character of human beings and modes of production, but both also acknowledged elements of material practice. There is a necessary duality in these theories demanding an ability to maintain ambivalences and tension rather than looking for reductions to either sociocultural events or physical laws.

Culture is in this perspective far from the opposite other of capitalist economy; rather, capitalism is itself a cultural formation based on the interpretation of sym- bols. Capitalism is a historically specific social logic that intrinsically rests on processes of interpretation: Thus interpretations and meanings are central to the repro- duction and legitimation of the capitalist economic system — but also to its even- tual overthrowing as revolutionary ideas emerge as well from the inner contradic- tions of the capital relation.

Marx strove to represent capitalism as a totality, but its historical situatedness at the same time hints that it was never, and can never be, all there is to social and cultural reality. Capitalist structures are not eternal laws but historically emerging patterns which have been naturalised so that they appear to be a universal automa- ton, which is true only as far as that appearance is accepted by sufficiently many.

Such a perspective mediates between voluntaristic humanism and deterministic structuralism, in a formally similar way as the intersubjectivity of the cultural perspective mediates between individual acting subjects and collec- tive societal structures. Modern culture is capitalist culture. This makes economic relations central to every critical and cultural theory.

Modern capitalism thus has a triple link to cul- ture by 1 being intrinsically based on complex cultural processes of significa- tion; 2 its contemporary late modern phase making these symbolic aspects in- creasingly central or at least increasingly acknowledged in critical social research as well as in discourses of everyday life; and 3 cultivating seeds of its own post- capitalist transition not just in material forces of production but also in critical reflexivity that opens up possibilities to understand the historical character of this society and thus break its spell.

One example is an element of Eurocentrism with regard to Asia and the coloni- al world that Marx only abandoned late in life Lindner A third and more relevant example here is the striking lack of any specific dis- cussion of commodity design, packaging, branding, marketing and media technol- ogies, considering their obvious central role today in reproducing capitalism. Issues of communication and signi- fication are certainly present as a key subtext, but later developments of capital- ism call for them to be much more the focus of critical attention.

It has, for in- stance, become impossible to understand modern social networking media without comprehending how capital can be accumulated not just by producing and selling communication technologies or mediated texts to audiences, but also by packag- ing and selling audience segments to advertisers.

In this way, the capitalist econ- omy has developed a range of highly complex symbolic use-values that call for adding cultural perspectives to the economic models used to map such phenome- na.

Critical theory can be seen as an early response to a cultural turn in the history of modernity, and as a first version of doing critical cultural studies that combined social and symbolic approaches. Today, some go as far as to conceptualise an in some sense new cultural phase of capitalism. It may be asked whether this is really a new phase that replaces classical forms of industrial capitalism, or rather a matter of recognising symbolic aspects that are a key subtext of the whole modern economy.

There is already in the initial analysis of commodities and values a potential for the culturalisation of economy critique. Value is not a thing but rather a social relationship. It emerges neither through pro- duction nor through exchange, but presupposes both. It is a property something is assigned in relation to other things, which then gives the appearance of possessing it quite apart from such a relationship.

As Marx insists on repeatedly, value is a ghost- ly or over-sensual property, not a substantial one. The conception of a commodity possessing its value objectivity independent of these relations is a semblance that transforms a social property into what is taken to be a natural one. Ramsay In both cases, individual efforts must be socially recognised in order to result in true value production: It, therefore, becomes clear that value is not a purely objective material property, but some- thing that emerges and is defined in social relations, just as is the case with mean- ing and thus with culture.

By bringing such mechanisms into conscious- ness, humanity is able to break their spell. Social and cultural practices are there- fore mutually interlaced and equally important for transforming society. His abstractions were not eternal truths but real ab- stractions bound to a specific mode of production. It defined the commodity form as the essential social relation of capitalist society, but not for all of human histo- ry. There may, in fact, not be any corresponding essence at all in other — pre- or post-capitalist — modes of production.

However, Marx constructs a rather strict model of modern societies by identi- fying the commodity form as the unique core essence of capitalism, from which all other forms of not only economic but also social and cultural life are derived. It is true that he reconstructs commodities not as homogeneous entities but as deeply contradictory and split between a value and a use-value side, where the latter is a necessary basic condition, whereas the former dominates and shapes the world through exchange-values, money, capital, etc.

But this model of society tends to reduce other contradictions, struggles and forms of domination or emancipation than those centred on commodity production, markets, capital and class struggle to being secondary or derived surface phenom- ena.

Culturalising Strategies Immanent critique needs to carefully consider where to find the key inner contra- dictions in modern capitalist society, and how to identify corresponding forces of emancipation. Here some form of cultural perspective seems needed, which was not possible to conceive until the cultural turns that emerged throughout the twen- tieth-century.

Before that, there was yet no strongly developed theoretical under- standing of culture and communication as key resources and spheres of society. This first emerged in the twentieth century as a response to the intensified media- tisation of widening spheres of society and with the development of critical theo- ry, cultural sociology, critical hermeneutics, symbolic interactionism and cultural studies.

It is necessary for late mod- ern critical theory to take the cultural dimension seriously in a much more com- plex and focused manner than ever before. In the current German debate on the relation between the logic and history of capitalism, one may trace scattered efforts in this direction in all the main posi- tions: Nevertheless, the task of performing a cultural turn in the critique of capitalism remains largely still ahead of us.

One may here tentatively discern three or four different possible strategies to explore. This would require uncovering the function of signifying practices in the commodity form and the capital relation, i. This should go all the way from the commodity form to the capital relation to the surface phenomena of contemporary capitalism, with its marketing and cultural industries, for example.

Such an analysis not only needs to extract how commodity fetishism plays out on various levels, but also show how the dialectics of value and use-value give rise both to spiralling modes of exploita- tion and mystification and to equally important germs of emancipatory thought and action.

At the same time, several cultural phenomena such as dialogue, drama, narrative, play or gifts seem to have long historical trajectories that go back far beyond the modern age of capital. This creates a demand to carefully disentangle how the modern forms of such mediating practices can be derived from capitalist commodity production, even when they may have much older historical roots. This is at least partly what the first generation of critical theorists tried to do, especially Adorno, who explored the complexities of how the commodity form affected, enabled and constrained the production, circulation and use of other symbolic forms.

This was also what the s and s capital logic movement and other reconstructions of econo- my critique tended to aim for. However, there are reasons to doubt whether such a totalising explanation of all of modern society as deriving from the basic logic of capitalist commodity production can ever succeed and suffice for founding a comprehensive social and cultural theory of modernity.

It may be necessary to go even further, and not to reduce all kinds of values and interactions to the production and exchange of eco- nomic values. Perhaps the ambitions of Marx and his faithful followers can never be fulfilled since modern society and culture cannot be reduced to the effect of the single logic of economic relations, however full of internal contradictions it may be.

There are reasons to hesitate before collapsing all kinds of value into one sin- gle commodity system. The world of commodities consists of economic values exchanged according to principles of equivalence in a market, but not all human relations seem evidently reducible to this particular form.

Anthropological and historical economist Karl Polanyi has distin- guished between three different systems of social interaction. Commercial com- modities can thus be transformed into mutual interpersonal gifts, which follow a different social logic than the market-bound pricing.

A third category consists of common or shared public utilities made freely available to a larger community. In the media sector, interpersonal communication is based on the gift economy, while libraries and public service exemplify public goods. It is evident that com- modity exchange interacts strongly with both the other two, but it may not be fruitful to fully reduce them to the first-mentioned. His extension of social intercourse to plural systems of exchange far outside of the market sphere seems to destabilise the boundary between economy and culture, or at least redefine economy as a more limited and specific subset of significant social relations.

Both are historically older than the last- mentioned, but still cannot be dismissed as marginal exceptions or residuals from pre-capitalist times, especially considering the new forms of gift economies and public arenas generated in the use of social media.

The communicative resources in contemporary networked public spheres do not seem fully reducible to effects of market relations, however influential these may be. Many cultural theories have seen cultural phenomena of signifying practice and symbolic communication as one of the main dimensions of modern society that calls for another theoretical foundation than commodity analysis.

While the first position above seemed to equate modernity with capitalism, the two others de- scribed below instead see capitalism based on capitalist commodity production as just one of several cornerstones of modern societies and seek to construct a more culturally oriented basis for understanding these. Generalising Value Theory One may culturalise the analysis of capitalism so far as to substitute economic capital as the core of modern society with something else that is more general and may encompass commodity production but also cover other realms of value.

I believe Pierre Bourdieu does something like this by developing a more general concept of value and capital, with economic capital as just one of its forms. I will here just briefly mention this position.

The polarity between economic and cultur- al capital is central to Bourdieu, and is seen as the main axis of inner contradiction in modern societies, on which he can build a kind of immanent critique. This places the core contradiction still within society, though not just within the eco- nomic market system but between two kinds of value formation. Bourdieu still keeps them together by regarding them both as varieties of symbolic capital, and thus the two competing poles within the social field.

Bourdieu suggests a general theory of practices and values encompassing but not limited to economic capital. Whereas the first option would tend to integrate cultural theory into economy critique, the second one does roughly the reverse, integrating commodity analysis into a more general cultural theory of symbolic value. One might strive for a more balanced integration of the two into one completely new cultural concept of value that is at the same time a value-oriented concept of culture, i.

I know of no such successful example. Considering how various aspects of signifying practice are differently organised and have a dissimilar historical development than capitalist commodity production, it is difficult to see how the two could be combined in such a non-hierarchic manner. In spite of certain parallels and lots of interaction, economic and cultural values are differently structured.

Symbolic val- ue may be conceived as a kind of never fully quantifiable use-value, but ex- change-value may on the other hand also be understood as a particular kind of quantified and quantifying symbolic value. And even if such a new synthesis succeeded, additional problems would then emerge in trying to relate it to other dimensions of modern societies that still would remain outside this synthesis, such as, for instance, the gender order or ethnic relations.

This prepares the way for the last strategy to be discussed here. Diversifying Modernity A last option is finally to give up all such totalising aspirations and develop a mul- tilevel model of capitalism, accepting that parallel social mechanisms co-exist without any evident common denominator. This is similar to the intersectionalist approach to identity issues, which argues that class, gender, ethnicity and age are intertwined but irreducible to one single mode of social relationship.

Just as with class, these other forms of social identity are based on spe- cific ways in which social practices combine material with symbolic levels. Gender and ethnicity cannot be reduced to forms of appearance of the com- modity value form in the same way that might be said of class. They all form identity orders that are mutually interacting and intertwined, but where none can be subsumed under the other. There is a series of different orders, all of them mu- tually intersecting within the intersubjective lifeworlds of everyday life.

And they, in turn, are all co-determined by, as well as co-determining, the market system of exploitation and also the system of state power, to which I will soon return be- low.

Capitalism as a mode of production co-constitutes modern gender relations, but does not fully explain them — and vice versa. This could be an argument for the need for more than one theory to understand modern societies.

If the third op- tion meant fusing theories into a total whole that still was based on a core integrat- ing mechanism, the fourth strategy would then rather be to give up such total inte- gration and instead accept a plurality of different co-existing theories that need to work dialogically and dialectically in combination, each focusing on a certain level and aspect of society, but never possible to sum up within a neat homologi- cal framework.

This makes the conflict of interpretations unavoidable in a neces- sarily open-ended struggle and communication between different approaches since human lives and societies are themselves fundamentally heterological. Fraser works in the spirit of Habermas, whose Theory of Communicative Ac- tion could serve as the basis for one way to develop this fourth strategy. Another example could build on Paul Ricoeur, who in somewhat similar ways strove to make room for several explanatory dimensions of modern society and culture.

Habermas instead constructed a multilevel model of complex modern society, where the market and the state are two different systems needed for relieving the pressure on interpersonal and public communication. None of them can be re- duced to a passive effect of the other. First, to acknowledge not just one determining system, but at least two: Marx uncov- ers the logic of the market system, but the logic of the political and administrative power of the state has at least a relative autonomy.

It is hard to say whether Marx would have come to the same conclusion if he had managed to complete his un- finished analysis of the state, or if this could only be done at a later stage of capi- talist development, when the complex dialectical interaction between the two sys- tems had become more visible.

The second — and in this context more relevant — move is to acknowledge that the signifying practices of civic culture and communication cannot be reduced to a reflex or appearance of the commodity form, even though economic relations cer- tainly have great influence on everyday life.

Dreams of another world may well arise from the capital relation itself as it, for instance, reinforces working-class collectivity. Other elements of such a dream derive from the experience of concrete labour. However, crucial parts of social life cannot be reduced to labour processes at all, but are rooted in non- commodified modes of interaction of other kinds than productive labour: Besides commodities, people also interact through communicative action, e. When Marx addresses the working class as a formation that not only is reproduced by capital but also resists it, he implicitly acknowledges the existence of another kind of discourse and action.

Habermas thinks of communicative action and the public sphere as key re- sources for civic society to counteract the colonising tendencies of the market and the state apparatus, and this is clearly a different solution than what Marx had in mind. If that were the case, then the abolition of capital and wage- labour might suffice if the inherent tendencies of the market distribution of re- sources to develop into those problematic forms could be prevented from breaking through.

In any case, one might argue for the need for a polycentric model of modern society, which cannot be analysed in terms of the unfolding of one singular dialec- tic — that of commodity production — but must be understood as the result of a combination of economic-market, political-institutional and social-cultural dimen- sions. Openings It is hard to say which of the three solutions holds most promise for the future: I see advantages and disadvantages in all these positions.

The original pro- gramme of economy critique retains its fascination and may well have hitherto- underdeveloped potentials when it comes to cultural theory, but seems as has been argued above not quite able to account for all aspects of contemporary mo- dernity.

The attempt to find another general foundation for social and cultural the- ory in a wider concept of value formation is a totalising approach that likewise has both its attractions and detractions.

Reading Marx is obviously strongly recommended, but can never be enough for several reasons.

Fornas 2014 pdf

First, capitalism has developed in ways Marx could never have predicted, and so has social theory. The culturalisation of both society and theory has given rise to important phenomena that are never fully covered in his work, such as the role of marketing, the service sector and the middle classes, as well as critical ideas from cultural studies and feminist and postcolonial theory.

Second, capitalism theory may, in principle, not suffice to understand moderni- ty as a whole. Commodity analysis may need to be supplemented with other mod- els in order to conceptualise the role of signifying practice, interaction, communi- cation and public spheres without reducing them to forms of appearance of the commodity form.

Perhaps no theory at all may ever provide the recipe for a post-capitalist future since — unlike capitalism — such uto- pia can never follow any quasi-automatic rules. Capitalism builds on the quasi- automatic machinery of commodity production, which like a ruthless growth mo- tor propels social development forward as soon as it is solidly in place. It is all too easy to look for a new mechanism that will solve for good the problems and di- lemmas of capitalism.

There cannot be any such simple answer at all. The answer must instead be sought in the interfaces between many different movements that together deconstruct the logic of history that capitalism once installed. The point of socialism is that what comes after capitalism cannot be an automatism: Instead, it is up to the flow of political practices and actions to shape the post-capitalist world.

It cannot be re- duced to a simple formula based on a predictable mechanism or an idealist thought-construction that could be envisaged in advance. It must be a matter of practice and agency, not of economic laws. Immanent critique can therefore only discern the main capitalist contradictions on which such action can build, but never predict its out- comes. Those who produce use-values must explore together, in interaction and communication, how to reorganise society in the absence of any driving motor such as commodity production.

What does it mean to incorporate Marx into cultural studies today? Is it his writing style that inspires followers: Is it his focus on class or on the economy that needs to be taken up again? Is it a radical political commitment that cultural research today longs to revive? Or is it an understanding of dialectical thinking that can again be explored after having fallen out of fashion through a number of critical deconstructions?

Those questions were the starting point for this theme section. The result is thirteen eminent essays covering a wide range of perspectives on this topical theme. There is no straightforward and self-evident way to organise the articles, and it is easy to come up with other subtopics that would also have been well worth dealing with here.

This is therefore not the final word, but a pro- vocative start to continued research and debate. The articles may be loosely divid- ed into four main sections, though there are plenty of overlaps between and heter- ogeneities within them.

Economy and Culture First, some articles offer cultural perspectives on economic theory, providing a meta-discussion of different standpoints in this respect. It contends that cultural processes of translation, signification, communication and argument have become central to the development of capital- ism as infrastructural technology shapes relations of capital and labour, but also opens up for oppositional activism.

Anders Bartonek, in turn, moves the focus away from Marx to his key philo- sophical predecessor, Hegel. Cultural Capitalism A second group of articles deals critically with the phenomenon and discourse of cognitive capitalism, i. He scruti- nises the forms of class composition and subjectivity that it implies, summarising its genealogy as a new battlefield of class struggle.

He juxtaposes labour coopera- tion and autonomy, which makes production common, with capital as a social relation of capture and subordination, and ends by discussing how the materiality of class composition can enable a revolutionary break with capitalism. It is often said that sociality is industrialised and industrialisation increasingly centred on immaterial, social ac- tivity, in a regime based on biopower where the concept of hegemony has become irrelevant.

Jarrett challenges such post-hegemony arguments, and contends that recent European austerity economics seriously undermines such assumptions. She uses feminist thinking to challenge the epochalisation inherent in arguments of post-hegemony, championing instead a return to engagement with the reproduc- tive logic of hegemonic discipline.

His ambition is to re- new and sharpen a critique of the new type of capitalism and to inspire alternative ways of thinking and living. Contemporary Crisis A third subset of this theme section comprises two articles that deal with the re- cent and contemporary financial crisis from a cultural perspective.

Concentrating on the Student Debt Campaign and its continuation in Strike Debt, the article relates the emerging fabric of a debtors movement to the dynamics of other current and his- torical instances of popular rebellion against exploitation, arguing that in the twenty-first century, debt is the successor of wages in the front line of anti- capitalist struggles.

The derivative provides key insights into the process of valorisation and the interdependence that creates mutual in- debtedness. This has created new contradictions and disenchantment in the cultural sector. The crisis has led to shrinking budgets but also to new claims for democratic access to cultural resources, voiced by innovative movements. Post-crisis policies must deal with sharpening contradictions between cultural freedom and commodification, a deepening legitimacy crisis of elite cultures and increased tensions between iden- tity claims and globalisation.

The next article moves from policy issues to subjectivity. The neoliberal self combines traits of classical economics with present-day discourses that actually derive from cultures of disaffection and opposition. He shows how the recent transition from organised to neoliberal capitalism has en- gendered a corresponding transformation in subjectivity. Leading celebrities and high-tech entrepreneurs operate in the popular imagination as models of achieve- ment, providing guidelines of conduct in a ruthlessly competitive and unequal world.

Banks studies how such a creative synthesis is con- stituted, offering a critical perspective that politicises its social effects in different empirical contexts. Self-exploiting flexible workers who generate economic value from knowledge, symbols, information and social interaction fit in neatly with the ne- oliberal priorities of post-Fordist capitalism. It is argued that this role model fails to produce the capacity to contest.

An alternative approach focuses instead on three kinds of resistant activism in the arts, media and cultural industries: With a background in musicology, he is a board member of the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation and was — vice-chair of the interna- tional Association for Cultural Studies ACS. His current research has two main strands, dealing with mediatisation on one hand and on the other with identities, symbols and narratives of Europe. The cur- rent wave includes Bonefeld and Heinrich , Eagleton , Harvey and Jame- son See also Antonio , Buchwalter and Sabia References Adorno, Theodor W.

MIT Press, 17— Antonio, Robert J. Beasley-Murray, Jon Pierre Bourdieu: Fieldwork in Culture, Lanham MD: Kapital und Kritik. Bourdieu, Pierre The Social Structures of the Economy, Cambridge: Polity Press. Buchwalter, Andrew Fem- inism Meets Queer Theory, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Eagleton, Terry Yale University Press. Elbe, Ingo Marx im Westen. Akademie Verlag. Fraser, Nancy Scales of Justice: Redistribution or Recognition? A Political-Philosophical Exchange, London: Guillory, John Cultural Capital: University of Chicago Press. The Theory of Communicative Action. Vol 2: Lifeworld and Sys- tem: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, Cambridge: Haraway, D. Free Association Books, 21— Harvey, David Profile Books. Critique of Commodity Aesthetics: Monthly Review Press.

Critical Theory and Soci- ety: A Reader, London: Routledge, 25— Jameson, Fredric Representing Capital: Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals and, What is Enlighten- ment? Kurz, Robert Geld ohne Wert.

New Foundations for Psychoanalysis, Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Lindner, Kolja VSA, 93— Volume 3, London: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy rough draft , London: Capital, a Critique of Political Economy. Volume I, London: Volume 22, Lon- don: Volume III, London: Geld und Geist.

Pearson eds: Free Press, — Ramsay, Anders Which Marx? Europe Talks to Europe: A Polylogue on Culture and Politics, Wien: Eurozine, 82— Freud and Philosophy: Essays on Language, Action and Interpretation, Cam- bridge: Cambridge University Press, — Sabia, Dan Intellectual and Manual Labour: A Critique of Epistemology, London: Williams, Raymond Marxism and Literature, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Labour is still a blind spot of the study of culture and the media, although this situation is slowly improving. It is maintained that the turn away from Marx in Cultural and Media Studies was a profound mistake that should be reverted.

Only an engagement with Marx can make Cultural and Media Studies topical, politically relevant, practical and critical, in the current times of global crisis and resurgent critique. Karl Marx, Marxist theory, culture, media, capitalism. Fuchs, Christian: The new world economic crisis that started in is the most obvious reason for the return of the interest in Marx.

This shift is however multidimensional and has multiple causes: Section 2 contextualises the paper by briefly discussing the role of Marx in Cultural Studies. Many approaches in contemporary Cultural Studies agree that the economic has to be taken more into account, although there is no agreement on how this engagement with the econo- my should look like.

Finally, some conclusions are drawn. Edward P. Thompson argued for a Marxism that stresses human experience and culture. He defended such Marxism politically against Stalinism Thompson , theoretically on the left against Althusserian structuralism Thompson and against the right-wing reactions against Marx led by thinkers like Leszek Kolakowski Thompson In the s, a controversy between Cultural Studies and Critical Political Economy developed that culminated in an exchange between Nicholas Garnham a, b and Lawrence Grossberg The basic points of criticism are summarised in table 1.

Garnham a: The discussion between Garnham and Grossberg is an indication that something fundamentally changed in Cultural Studies since the time Williams and Thompson had written their major works, namely a profound move away from Marx, Marxism and the analysis of culture in the context of class and capitalism.

Political Economy non-class domination is always related to class domination Cultural Studies sees class and Cultural Studies sees a plurali- gender, race, etc as independ- ty of articulated differences.

Cultural Studies sees consum- ers as active. Truth and ethics Cultural Studies rejects the Notions like truth and false notion of truth and therefore consciousness are elitist.

Table 1: The controversy between Nicholas Garnham and Lawrence Grossberg The return of Marx in contemporary academia was preceded by a disappearance of Marx. Hall describes in the troubled relationship of his version of Cultural Studies to Marx.

The s and s were decades of the disap- pearance of Marx in the humanities and social sciences in general.

Hall generalizes and constructs a homogeneity of British Cultural Studies that never existed. Thompson and Raymond Williams, were much attracted by Humanist Marxism. Thompson at the same time employed his theoretical and literary skills for writing a bitter satirical critique of Althusser from a Marxist-Humanist standpoint Thompson and for writing a defence of Marx and Marxism against Leszek Kolakowski Thompson , a former Humanist Marxist, who published a book against Marx and Marxism Kolakowski So the identification and depth of engagement with Marxism has definitely been different in various strands of Cul- tural Studies.

Stuart Hall gives against his own epistemology a quite non- complex, non-contextualized and reductionistic reading of Cultural Studies and Marxism that too much generalizes his own experiences and worldview. Colin Sparks According to Laclau himself, the task of his approach was to deliberately ignore and downplay the importance of class in favour of other forms of power.

Given the ambivalent position of Karl Marx in Cultural Studies, the question that arises is what role for Marx and the analysis of capitalism and class Cultural Studies scholars see today and in the future. I will take up this question next.

The books were pub- lished in the past three years, so all are relatively recent, and have set themselves the task to reflect on the future of Cultural Studies. This is already indicated in the titles of the three works: Hartley goes one step further and includes a specific statement on how the future of Cultural Studies should look like in the title: February 2nd, It produced 47 results that have both words in their title and refer to the academic field named Cultural Studies.

An Introduction to American Culture. So most of these books are oriented on docu- menting specific aspects of the history of Cultural Studies, whereas only a few are concerned with assessing the current status and the potential futures of Cultural Studies. The three selected books in contrast have exactly the purpose of critically assessing the present and helping to construct the future of Cultural Studies and are therefore suited for further analysis. The three books have in common that they see a problem in contemporary Cul- tural Studies and a task for the future.

So all three books have in common that they perceive a crisis of Cultural Studies and the need to change something in this field of studies. The profound crisis of contemporary society is on the aca- demic level accompanied by a profound crisis of Cultural Studies. This is at least the impression that one gets from reading the books of these authors, who can all be considered to be among the most influential contemporary figures in Cultural Studies.

All three books identify a future task for Cultural Studies. For Hartley, the task is to reform Cultural Studies Hartley These tasks vary in the way they want to transform Cul- tural Studies, but have in common that in the situation of the crisis of Cultural Studies they want to contribute to its reconstruction.

I will here discuss the books in chronological order of publication and there- fore start with Lawrence Grossberg. Lawrence Grossberg: Cultural Studies in the Future Tense Grossberg Grossberg sees an important role for economics in Cultural Studies today. Grossberg Grossberg aims at decentring the value concept from the labour concept and therefore inter- prets it in its broader meaning as representation, desire, measure of a degree of singularity, and what is good and desirable Grossberg It tries to measure the quality of research and to thereby compare and rank higher education institutions and departments.

The results have implications for budget allocation. According to this assessment, philosophy at Middlesex University was very good. Modern universities are based on an enlightenment ideal — they accumulate systematic knowledge that aims at advancing the status of human knowledge about the world as well as society.

In this accumulation, universities compete with each other. Capitalist industry and governments apply the accumulated scientific knowledge, whereas the workforce and management in the modern economy ap- ply the accumulated educational skills created by higher education. The Noble Prize, established in , is characteristic for the modern competitive assessment of knowledge and universities in the areas of chemistry, economics, literature, medicine, peace and physics. Modern universities are inherently shaped by an economic logic of accumulation, competition and ranking.

At the same time, the university has also been a locus and space for the formation of counterculture, critical ideas, and political protests that question the very logic of accumulation and resulting inequalities in society at large. An important step in the institutional- ization of quality assessment was the establishment of the Science Citation Index in that is today owned by a commercial publishing company — Thomson Reuters.

The index originated in the natural sciences, but was later extended to cover the humanities Arts and Humanities Index and the Social Sciences Social Sciences Citation Index. Nation-wide research assessments such as the RAE and global university rankings are more recent developments. The first RAE was conducted in under the Thatcher government. The Academic Ranking of World Universities has been conducted since These phenomena are indications that economic logic is one immanent feature of the modern university system and that in neoliberal times, the economization of higher education and research has become an even stronger feature of universities.

The closing of Philosophy at Middlesex University is an indication that fields, programmes, and people engaged in areas that are difficult to subsume under the logic of revenue generation and industry are prone to being dropped. In this ex- ample, the contradictions of economization became fully apparent: Although re- ceiving very good results in one form of economization research assessment , Philosophy at Middlesex University was closed because of another form of econ- omization monetary revenue: I have chosen this example because it shows how modern culture in general and contemporary culture in particular is shaped by economic logic.

It shows that the central moral value of modern society is economic value. It advances a peculiar kind of relativism disguised under headlines such as contextuality, multidimensionality, heterogeneity and difference. There are indi- cations that the economic sphere has in capitalism always been the dominant alt- hough not determining sphere.

Rejecting such a position does not mean that struggles against capitalism and domination are impossible, but that in modern society all struggles necessarily have an economic dimension that is of particular importance. It is not only important that there are multiple spheres of power, but that these spheres are related to each other in variable dimensions that are determined in struggles.

Radical contextualism risks conceiving and analysing power as inde- pendent containers, not as power relations. Garnham a, b. Grossberg calls for giving more attention to the economy in Cultural Studies.

So he sets up a Marxist camouflage argument the importance of contradictions in order to dismiss Marx and the labour theory of value and instead use a relativist approach on cultural economy. Digital Futures for Cultural and Media Studies A recent book by John Hartley represents another prominent approach that ad- vances the idea of connecting Cultural Studies to economics.

Hartley shares with Grossberg the assessment that Cultural Studies is in crisis. It stresses that value in the cultural industries today emerges dynamically from the co-creativity of citizens and users in social networks.

Hartley metaphorically uses the language of evolutionary systems-, complexity- and self-organization-theory, but fails to systematically apply concepts of this theory approach such as control parameters, critical values, fluctuations, feedback loops, circular causality, non- linearity, bifurcation, autopoiesis, order out of chaos, emergence, openness, sym- metry braking, synergism, unpredictability, etc to the Internet for a different approach that is critical in intention see: Fuchs Hartley also does not seri- ously engage with the fact that thinkers like Friedrich August Hayek the concept of spontaneous order and Niklas Luhmann the concepts of functional differentia- tion and self-reference have used the language of self-organization and complexi- ty for ideologically legitimatizing neo-liberalism see Fuchs Hartley He has a negative answer to this question, grounded in the fact that also Adbusters magazine once referred positively to evolutionary economics.

The opposition of critical and romantic logically implies that Hartley considers his own approach as being uncritical.

The focus on evolution shall according to Hartley substitute a focus on critical studies. He argues for what one could term Uncritical Evolutionary Cultural Studies.

It rather seems that Hartley assumes that such markets are nonetheless a realm of democracy because many have communicative tools avail- able that can, if they are lucky and hard working, enable them to become part of this elite, at least for a short time.

Paul Smith has edited a collected volume that also discusses, among other things, the relationship of Cultural Studies and economics. Paul Smith: Most of the contributors share with Grossberg and Hart- ley the conviction that the economic needs to be taken serious by Cultural Studies and has in the past too often been neglected. But there is a profound difference between this volume and the books by Grossberg and Hartley, namely the rela- tionship to Marx and Critical Political Economy.

In the introduction, Smith a asks the question what Cultural Studies should be doing right now. So for example Andrew Ross says: Nick Couldry supports this view: After three decades of neoliberal discourse and a particular version of globalization based on inequality, exclusion, and market fundamentalism, the issue of labor fore- grounded by [Andrew] Ross is clearly central.

Vincent Mosco a: Charusheela Randy Martin argues that financialization is a key topic for renewing Cultural Studies and grounding it in Marxism. The impression that one gets from the books by Grossberg, Hartley and Smith is that paradoxically the crisis of capitalism is accompanied by a crisis of Cultural Studies. At the same time, there are indications for a renewal of Marxism in one strand of Cultural Studies. The implication is that the time is ripe for taking Marx serious, reading Marx, using Marx for thinking about media, communication, and culture, to introduce Marx and Marxism to students, and especially to institution- alize Marx and Marxist studies in the courses about media, communication and culture taught at universities as well as in the research conducted and the projects applied for and funded.

Marx is too often seen and treated as the outside and outsider of the study of media, communication and culture.

FORNAS 2015.pdf

It is time that he takes central stage, which requires resources, institutions, positions — and therefore the struggle to change academia. Speaking about Cul- tural Studies, Toby Miller Andrew Ross , in a similar vain stresses the role of precarious labour in the cultural indus- tries. Engaging with Marx for understanding the media and culture requires an engagement with the concepts of labour and value. They are objectifications of the labour of human beings working under certain conditions.

Neither these human beings nor their working conditions are generally visible to media users. There is another significant difference in user-generated online content where the conditions of production are known to oneself and can be communicat- ed to others.

Nonetheless, the production of media content and technologies is a complex process that involves a lot of different forms of work that are to a certain degree not immediately visible and are hidden inside of things and artefacts. Why are labour, capitalism and class important topics? The recent global crisis of capitalism has shown that class relations, precarious labour and unemployment are important aspects of contemporary capitalism. The gaps between the rich and the poor, between wage levels and profits and between the hours worked by those who have jobs and the number of unemployed people have vastly increased in the past decades in many countries.

The unemployment rate of young people aged less than 25 years was At the same time, the average working hours per week are well above 40 hours for those who have full-time jobs data source: Being a highly skilled knowledge worker with university education does not necessarily solve the problem: The unemployment rate of this sector of society was Euro- stat.

The crisis of capitalism has to do with the deepening of class inequality. From to , the wage share, i. This is an indication that wages have been relatively falling, which has resulted in rising profits. The economy matters and is an important context for studying media, communication, culture and digital media. Ten years later, he saw this prob- lem as persisting: If the author does not exist or has no intentional power, why study her or him?

Again ten years later, Vincent Mosco A particular problem of contemporary Media and Communication Studies is the strong focus on the capital-side of the creative and cultural economy and the neglect of the labour side. In recent years, the situation has however improved and communication labour has become the subject of a significant number of critical studies.

A number of scholars has conducted important work for trying to overcome the labour blind- spot of Media and Communication Studies. A number of conferences has contribut- ed to the emergence of a discourse on digital labour: In addition, a kind of activist scholarship has developed that fostered by civil society organisations such as China Labor Watch http: This kind of scholarship has e.

If labour, class and capitalism matter for studying media, culture and commu- nication, then a theoretical approach is needed that can guide the analysis. In Christian philosophy, the existence of alienated labour and class relations was always con- sidered as being God-given.

This relation was however considered as being necessary for progress, its potential sublation was not seen as a historical potential enabled by the development of the productive forces.

Classical political economy ignored to clarify its claim that the current state of the capitalist mode of production is eter- nal. As a consequence, it saw the form of labour that exists in capitalism and that is characterised by a division of labour, private property and class relations, as eternal and naturalised it thereby. In contrast, Marx was critical of such views.

Therefore his approach is a critique of political economy and not only a contribu- tion to political economy. When discussing what work and labour are, Marx offers the most thorough analysis that is available. In encyclopaedias and dictionaries of economics, entries such as labour, labour power, labour process or labour theory are therefore often predominantly associated with Marx and Marxist theory see e. What is the Marxian labour theory of value about?

It is a theory that assumes that labour and labour time are crucial factors of capitalism. Abstract human la- bour is the substance of value; it is a common characteristic of commodities.

The value of a commodity is the average labour time that is needed for producing it. Labour time is the measure of value. Value has both a substance and a magnitude and is in these characteristics connected to human labour and labour time. To be precise, socially necessary labour is the substance of val- ue: Every commodity has an individual value production time. What counts on the market and in the industry, is however the average production time. On the market in one industry, average labour times needed for producing similar com- modities compete with each other.

Socially necessary labour time is the average labour time that is needed in the entire economy for producing a commodity based on average skills and an average level of productivity. An individual capital has its own productivity, its workforce has a specific skill level, etc.

So the average value of a commodity produced may deviate from the social necessary labour re- quired to produce the commodity on average in the entire industry. The law of value has to do with the speed of production and the level of productivity: The higher the productivity used to create a commodity, the lower its value: Inversely, the less the productivity of labour, the greater the labour-time necessary to produce an article, and the greater its value.

Workers are forced to enter class relations and to produce profit in order to survive, which enables capital to appropriate surplus. Marx argued that the value of labour power is the average amount of time that is needed for the production of goods that are necessary for survival necessary labour time , which in capitalism is paid for by workers with their wages.

Surplus labour time is all of labour time that exceeds necessary labour time, remains unpaid, is appropriated for free by capitalists, and transformed into money profit. For Marx, capitalism is based on the permanent theft of unpaid labour from workers by capitalists.

This is the reason why he characterizes capital as vampire and werewolf. Why do concepts such as labour time and surplus value matter for studying the media? I will try to make an argument on this issue by using several examples.

Muhanga Kawaya, an enslaved miner in North Kivu Democratic Republic of Congo who extracts minerals that are needed for the manufacturing of laptops and mobile phones, describes his work in the following way: And then, when you do finally come back out with the cassiterite, the soldiers are waiting to grab it at gunpoint. Which means you have nothing to download food with. A Chinese engineer at Foxconn Shenzhen, where computers and mobile phones that are sold by Western companies are assembled, says: We were busy throughout a 6-month period and had to work on Sundays.

We only had a rest day every 13 days. And there was no over- time premium for weekends. Foxconn shows the corporate social irresponsibility of capitalist me- dia corporations Sandoval Mohan, a Project Manager in the Indian software industry who is in his mid 30s, explains: Another software engineer argues: And anytime you can be called [ A software engineer at Google describribes the working situation at Google: These data were restricted to mothers enrolled in, or infants eligible for, Medicaid at the time of hospital discharge.

Sample and design We used a retrospective case-control design to compare infants with and without NAS in the county area. Cases were infants diagnosed with NAS, born in or , with maternal residence in the county area, and with the mother enrolled in or infant eligible for TennCare by the time of hospital discharge following birth. Controls were randomly selected from all other TennCare enrolled or eligible births in and , not diagnosed with NAS, with frequency matching based on year of birth and maternal county of residence.

The linked data file included a total of records— infants with NAS in — across the county area, and randomly selected infants without NAS during the same time period.

Measures The Tennessee Surveillance System for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome data source 1 , variables of interest included source s of maternal opioid exposure. Hospitals are required to report source s of maternal exposure in the following categories: non-prescription substance illegal drugs , supervised pain therapy, therapy for psychiatric or neurological condition, prescription substance obtained without a prescription, or supervised replacement therapy.

The opioid source is then coded in two fashions. The first is non-mutually exclusive, as any one person may have one or multiple sources of exposure. Sixteen variables on maternal characteristics were included and reflected demographics, infections, and perinatal events.Bourdieu, Pierre.

Only an engagement with Marx can make Cultural and Media Studies topical, politically relevant, practical and critical, in the current times of global crisis and resurgent critique. Huws, Ursula Jazz and the Swedish Welfare Society], Stockholm: Di- H vides remain between definitions of ICT competence versus media competence. A Critique of Functionalist Reason, Cambridge:

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