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Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy
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Book description

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.


‘… 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 Source: Sociological Research Online

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  • 1 - Introduction
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