Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy

Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy

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Dave Elder-Vass
Cambridge University Press, 6/24/2016
EAN 9781316509388, ISBN10: 1316509389

Paperback, 270 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.5 cm
Language: English

Our economy is neither overwhelmingly capitalist, as Marxist political economists argue, nor overwhelmingly a market economy, as mainstream economists assume. Both approaches ignore vast swathes of the economy, including the gift, collaborative and hybrid forms that coexist with more conventional capitalism in the new digital economy. Drawing on economic sociology, anthropology of the gift and heterodox economics, this book proposes a groundbreaking framework for analysing diverse economic systems: a political economy of practices. The framework is used to analyse Apple, Wikipedia, Google, YouTube and Facebook, showing how different complexes of appropriative practices bring about radically different economic outcomes. Innovative and topical, Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy focusses on an area of rapid social change while developing a theoretically and politically radical framework that will be of continuing long-term relevance. It will appeal to students, activists and academics in the social sciences.

Part I. Diverse Economies
1. Introduction
2. Diverse economies
Part II. Political Economies
3. Beyond Marxist political economy
4. Mainstream economics and its rivals
5. Complexes of appropriative practices
Part III. Digital Economies
6. Digital monopoly capitalism
7. Co-operative peer production
8. Does Google give gifts?
9. User content capitalism
10. Conclusion.