Political Economy of Media
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Media Studies
Course Number: NMDS 5230
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- International Affairs
- Media Studies
This course studies the relationship between two forms of mediation. The first is work, an activity which is said to mediate between human beings and nature. The second is communication an activity that is preeminently understood as a form of social mediation. According to a commonly held view, these two types of activity refer to two different domains of production. To work is assigned the function of fabrication of objects, to communication the production of social relations. Associated with these notions of production are usually such concepts as subject and object, interiority and exteriority, individual and social etc. The course will argue that these distinctions, and primarily that between work and communication, have been blurred by the development of new forms of production in which the distinction between work and communication is difficult to maintain. This transformation has been called in turn postindustrialism, information society, economies of sign and space, postfordism, network society, cognitive capital etc.. On the one hand work is increasingly characterized by its immateriality, by its knowledge content, and by the communicative network it generates, on the other hand social relations of communication are increasingly inseparable from the material condition of their mediation. For these reasons media are not simply means of communication but have to be seen as productive forces, and their analysis is central to the understanding of late capitalism and of its transformation.