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Antisocial MediaAnxious Labor in the Digital Economy$
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Greg Goldberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479829989

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479829989.001.0001

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Anxiety and the Antisocial

Anxiety and the Antisocial

(p.11) 1 Anxiety and the Antisocial
Antisocial Media

Greg Goldberg

NYU Press

This chapter elaborates a novel theoretical framework that draws from the antisocial thesis in queer theory, particularly as formulated by Leo Bersani, as well as recent theoretical work on affect and emotion by Sianne Ngai and Sara Ahmed. Weaving these theoretical strands together, the chapter proposes that anxiety is not simply an individual psychological disposition, but can also be ascribed to modes of thought. The chapter then argues that anxiety, as a discursive affect, functions as a “straightening device,” policing antisocial subjects (or non-subjects) and calling them back to valued forms of sociality. This argument provides a foundation for interpreting the anxieties about playbor, automation, and the sharing economy discussed in the chapters that follow.

Keywords:   anxiety, affect, emotion, queer theory, discourse, social, antisocial, psychoanalysis, Leo Bersani

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