Antisocial MediaAnxious Labor in the Digital Economy

Antisocial MediaAnxious Labor in the Digital Economy

Greg Goldberg

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9781479829989

Publisher: NYU Press

Abstract

This book addresses popular and academic concerns that the institution of work is being irreparably damaged by digital/media technologies. The book considers three specific concerns (each in a separate chapter): 1) that all jobs may soon be automated out of existence, 2) that the sharing economy will degrade the few jobs that remain, and 3) that services like Facebook and Instagram are turning leisure into work, exploiting users in their so-called free time. Through an in-depth examination of these concerns, the book proposes that what really concerns these writers is not that work is being degraded or may soon disappear altogether, but rather that society itself is under attack, and more specifically the bonds of responsibility on which social relations depend. Drawing from recent work on affect/emotion and from the controversial antisocial thesis in queer theory, the book argues that the anxiety surrounding these transformations aims primarily not to slow or reverse these changes, but rather to solicit readers to identify with the social: to stop being irresponsible, unaccountable, lazy, self-serving, and hedonistic, and to once again engage in the hard work of being a productive member of society.