Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive

Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive


By (author) Jodi Dean

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  • Publisher: Polity Press
  • Format: Paperback | 140 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 214mm x 14mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 11 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 074564970X
  • ISBN 13: 9780745649702
  • Sales rank: 234,395

Product description

Blog Theory offers a critical theory of contemporary media.Furthering her account of communicative capitalism, Jodi Deanexplores the ways new media practices like blogging and textingcapture their users in intensive networks of enjoyment, production,and surveillance. Her wide-ranging and theoretically rich analysisextends from her personal experiences as a blogger, through mediahistories, to newly emerging social network platforms andapplications. Set against the background of the economic crisis wrought byneoliberalism, the book engages with recent work in contemporarymedia theory as well as with thinkers such as Giorgio Agamben, JeanBaudrillard, Guy Debord, Jacques Lacan, and Slavoj ?i?ek. Throughthese engagements, Dean defends the provocative thesis thatreflexivity in complex networks is best understood via thepsychoanalytic notion of the drives. She contends, moreover, thatreading networks in terms of the drives enables us to grasp theirreal, human dimension, that is, the feelings and affects that embedus in the system. In remarkably clear and lucid prose, Dean links seemingly trivialand transitory updates from the new mass culture of the internet tomore fundamental changes in subjectivity and politics. Everydaycommunicative exchangesNfrom blog posts to textmessagesNhave widespread effects, effects that not onlyundermine capacities for democracy but also entrap us in circuitsof domination.

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Author information

Jodi Dean isProfessor of Political Science at Hobart and William SmithColleges.

Review quote

If Ballard invited the 20th century viewer to witness their own mass atrocity exhibition, we now have the update for the 21st century: Jodi Dean's demolition job of the Internet as we know it. With Blog Theory we can finally terminate the hype of blogging and seriously engage the deeply distracted condition of the networked present. The incestuous relationship between journalism and bloggers is exposed to make way for critical reflections on techniques of self-management for our all-too-fragile identities. Geert Lovink Blog Theory is refreshingly free of received ideas about the wonderful new world of media. Jodi Dean manages the difficult art of being critical of new media without becoming a cranky curmudgeon. She uses psychoanalytic concepts to produce a synoptic view of the decline of symbolic efficiency under communicative capitalism, and the way the blogosphere participates in this dissipation of the totems and tokens of what we once thought of as the public sphere. She clears the way for imagining the politics of media by other means. McKenzie Wark, The New School University

Table of contents

Acknowledgements vi 1 Blog Settings 1 2 The Death of Blogging 33 3 Whatever Blogging 61 4 Affective Networks 91 Notes 127 Index 144