Publicity's Secret: How Technoculture Capitalizes on Democracy

Publicity's Secret: How Technoculture Capitalizes on Democracy


By (author) Jodi Dean

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  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 224mm x 5mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2002
  • Publication City/Country: Ithaca
  • ISBN 10: 0801486785
  • ISBN 13: 9780801486784
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Sales rank: 761,060

Product description

In recent decades, media outlets in the United States most notably the Internet have claimed to serve the public's ever-greater thirst for information. Scandals are revealed, details are laid bare because "the public needs to know." In Publicity's Secret, Jodi Dean claims that the public's demands for information both coincide with the interests of the media industry and reinforce the cynicism promoted by contemporary technoculture. Democracy has become a spectacle, and Dean asserts that theories of the "public sphere" endanger democratic politics in the information age.Dean's argument is built around analyses of Bill Gates, Theodore Kaczynski, popular journalism, the Internet and technology, as well as the conspiracy theory subculture that has marked American history from the Declaration Independence to the political celebrity of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The author claims that the media's insistence on the public's right to know leads to the indiscriminate investigation and dissemination of secrets. Consequently, in her view, the theoretical ideal of the public sphere, in which all processes are transparent, reduces real-world politics to the drama of the secret and its discovery."

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Review quote

"Jodi Dean's new book approaches the key issue of today's critical theory: how are we to subtract the authentic democratic impulse from its perversion in the media-manipulated notion of 'public' and 'public support'? Is the situation so manipulated that true democracy cannot survive? Or should we start to look for sites of resistance even in odd places like UFO and conspiracy theories? In short, to say 'I am engaged in critical theory and don't want to read Dean's book'is a contradiction in terms: the book is A MUST!" Slavoj Zizek"