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”Cumming” to Terms with Communicative Capitalism
Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Center for Social Analysis (CESAM), Social Change, Learning and Social Relations (SLSR).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7628-5829
2012 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

The last few years have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of services and applications that facilitate online social interaction of various kinds. Contemporary accounts of the social web most often take their point of departure in an analysis of Social Network Sites (SNS) such as Twitter and Facebook. In contrast to such an endeavour, this paper shifts focus from the social realm of SNS to social interactions that occur through and around amateur sex-cam services such as cam4.com, which is a service claiming to be ”the largest worldwide webcam community”. Cam4.com allows the users to broadcast themselves while having sex, masturbating or simply engaging in exhibitionist practices of different sorts. Every broadcast is accompanied by a public chat which provides a possibility to communicate with the viewers as well as a ”tip box” through which viewers can make economic transactions to the broadcasting user. These transactions are often closely related to the bodily sexual practices of the users and it is frequently said that a certain amount of tips is required for making an orgasm (or similar activity) taking place. This paper takes its point of departure in an analysis of various forms of social interaction on cam4.com in order to establish an understanding of the relationship between bodily practices and communicative acts in light of the electronically mediated setting by which their performance is facilitated and interconnected. This analysis, in turn, is related to a broader theoretical framework that builds upon a critical assessment of the works of George H. Mead (1934), Judith Butler (1990) and Anthony Giddens (1992) together with a reconfiguration of Jodi Dean’s (2005, 2010a, 2010b) notion of ”communicative capitalism” which designates a very specific form of late capitalism which is materialised in the bits and bytes of the network society. Taken as a whole, this paper provides a deeper understanding of the processes involved in contemporary online (bodily) communication while at the same time positioning these microsociological matters in a broader macroscopical theoretical framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
National Category
Sociology Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-16994OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-16994DiVA: diva2:482179
Conference
The 40th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, New Delhi, India, 16-19 February, 2012
Projects
Nätgemenskapernas socialitet
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2012-01-23 Created: 2012-01-23 Last updated: 2013-10-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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