The Exploitation of Audience Labour: A Missing Perspective on Communication and Capital in the Digital Era

from Reconsidering Value and Labour in the Digital Age, edited by Christian Fuchs and Eran Fisher. Palgrave Macmillan

Link to Draft

This chapter contributes to a political economic theory centred on the concept of “audience labour”. First, the previous use of the concept of audience labour is briefly traced. Second, a theory of the audience labour process is developed, drawing on previous theories of audience activities of cultural consumption as productive activities of signification and adapting Marx’s theory of the human labour process to the audience labour process. Third, a political economy of audience labour is outlined. As a theory of the basic processes through which communicative capital can control and extract value from audience labour, it describes the exploitation of audience labour and accumulation of communicative capital through distribution relationships of rent and interest.

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