Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy

$40.99 (P)

  • Date Published: June 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316509388

$ 40.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Provides deep insight into the workings of some of the highest profile sites on the Internet, enabling readers to understand digital phenomena that are becoming increasingly central to our lives and to courses across the social sciences
    • Shows how interacting complexes of practices produce a variety of different economic forms, and therefore the possibility of there being many different ways of organising our economy
    • Features analyses of Apple, Wikipedia, Google, YouTube and Facebook
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘… this is a book that has big ideas, is dealing with monumental shifts in how our society is organised, how our economy works, and how we fundamentally relate to each other … there is so much content that can be used to explain digital and economic phenomena and theory that this deserves to be a widely discussed and thought about text …’ Jon Dean, Sociological Research Online

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316509388
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    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: Apple
    7. Co-operative peer production: Wikipedia
    8. Does Google give gifts?
    9. User content capitalism
    10. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Dave Elder-Vass, Loughborough University
    Dave Elder-Vass teaches sociology and digital economies at Loughborough University. Before returning to academic life he was a senior IT technology manager in the private sector. This book brings together his expertise in digital technology and its use in business with his academic work on economic sociology and particularly the relation of gifts to the conventional economy. His previous publications include The Causal Power of Social Structures (Cambridge, 2010) and The Reality of Social Construction (Cambridge, 2012).

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.