Taste usually occupies the bottom of the sensorial hierarchy, as the quintessentially hedonistic sense, too close to the animal, the elemental and the corporeal, and for this reason disciplined and moralised. At the same time, taste is indissolubly tied to knowledge. To taste is to discriminate, emit judgement, enter an unstable domain of synaesthetic normativity where the certainty of metaphysical categories begins to crumble. This second title in the ‘Law and the Senses’ series explores law using taste as a conceptual and ontological category able to unsettle legal certainties, and a promising tool whereby to investigate the materiality of law’s relation to the world. For what else is law’s reduction of the world into legal categories, if not law’s ingesting the world by tasting it, and emitting moral and legal judgements accordingly? Through various topics including coffee, wine, craft cider and Japanese knotweed, this volume explores the normativities that shape the way taste is felt and categorised, within and beyond subjective, phenomenological and human dimensions. The result is an original interdisciplinary volume – complete with seven speculative ‘recipes’ – dedicated to a rarely explored intersection, with contributions from artists, legal academics, philosophers, anthropologists and sociologists.Book Details
What is ‘social capital’? The enormous positivity surrounding it conceals the instrumental economic rationality underpinning the notion as corporations silently sell consumer data for profit. Status chasing is just one aspect of a process of transforming qualitative aspects of social interactions into quantifiable metrics for easier processing, prediction, and behavioural shaping.
A work of critical media studies, Social Capital Online examines the idea within the new ‘network spectacle’ of digital capitalism via the ideas of Marx, Veblen, Debord, Baudrillard and Deleuze. Explaining how such phenomena as online narcissism and aggression arise, Faucher offers a new theoretical understanding of how the spectacularisation of online activity perfectly aligns with the value system of neoliberalism and its data worship. Even so, at the centre of all, lie familiar ideas – alienation and accumulation – new conceptions of which he argues are vital for understanding today’s digital society.Book Details
This book highlights that the capacity for gathering, analysing, and utilising vast amounts of digital (user) data raises significant ethical issues. Annika Richterich provides a systematic contemporary overview of the field of critical data studies that reflects on practices of digital data collection and analysis. The book assesses in detail one big data research area: biomedical studies, focused on epidemiological surveillance. Specific case studies explore how big data have been used in academic work.
The Big Data Agenda concludes that the use of big data in research urgently needs to be considered from the vantage point of ethics and social justice. Drawing upon discourse ethics and critical data studies, Richterich argues that entanglements between big data research and technology/ internet corporations have emerged. In consequence, more opportunities for discussing and negotiating emerging research practices and their implications for societal values are needed.
An electronic version of this book is freely available, thanks to the support of libraries working with Knowledge Unlatched. KU is a collaborative initiative designed to make high quality books Open Access for the public good. More information about the initiative and details about KU's Open Access programme can be found at www.knowledgeunlatched.org.Book Details
Vision traditionally occupies the height of the sensorial hierarchy. The sense of clarity and purity conveyed by vision, allows it to be explicitly associated with truth and knowledge. The law has always relied on vision and representation, from eye-witnesses to photography, to imagery and emblems. The law and its normative gaze can be understood as that which decrees what is permitted to be and become visible and what is not. Indeed, even if law’s perspectival view is bound to be betrayed by the realities of perception, it is nonetheless productive of real effects on the world.
This first title in the interdisciplinary series ‘Law and the Senses’ asks how we can develop new theoretical approaches to law and seeing that go beyond a simple critique of the legal pretension to truth. This volume aims to understand how law might see and unsee, and how in its turn is seen and unseen. It explores devices and practices of visibility, the evolution of iconology and iconography, and the relation between the gaze of the law and the blindness of justice. The contributions, all radically interdisciplinary, are drawn from photography, legal theory, philosophy, and poetry.Book Details
Knowledge in the Age of Digital Capitalism proposes a new critical theory concerning the functioning of capitalism and how we consider knowledge and information. This ambitious book systematically and lucidly introduces contemporary phenomena into the framework of cognitive materialism to address some of the great themes of the social sciences: knowledge, exploitation and social class in an account of capitalism's totality in the present day. Author Mariano Zukerfeld reinvigorates materialist study of communications, presenting a typology of knowledge to explain the underlying material forms of information, intellectual property and cognitive work in contemporary societies. Using current examples the book also examines concerns such as free labour and the pivotal role of intellectual property. The book offers nothing less than an introduction to the theory of cognitive materialism and an account of the entirety of the digital (or knowledge) capitalism of our time.Book Details
This book contributes to the foundations of a critical theory of communication as shaped by the forces of digital capitalism. One of the world's leading theorists of digital media Professor Christian Fuchs explores how the thought of some of the Frankfurt School’s key thinkers can be deployed for critically understanding media in the age of the Internet. Five essays that form the heart of this book review aspects of the works of Georg Lukács, Theodor W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Axel Honneth and Jürgen Habermas and apply them as elements of a critical theory of communication's foundations. The approach taken starts from Georg Lukács Ontology of Social Being, draws on the work of the Frankfurt School thinkers, and sets them into dialogue with the Cultural Materialism of Raymond Williams.
Critical Theory of Communication offers a vital set of new insights on how communication operates in the age of information, digital media and social media, arguing that we need to transcend the communication theory of Habermas by establishing a dialectical and cultural-materialist critical theory of communication.
It is the first title in a major new book series 'Critical Digital and Social Media Studies' published by the University of Westminster Press.