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Vinyl won’t save us: reframing disconnection as engagement

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journal contribution
posted on 03.03.2020, 16:02 by Simone Natale, Emiliano Treré
Disconnection has recently come to the forefront of public discussions as an antidote to an increasing saturation with digital technologies. Yet experiences with disconnection are often reduced to a form of disengagement that diminishes their political impact. Disconnective practices focused on health and well-being are easily appropriated by big tech corporations, defusing their transformative potential into the very dynamics of digital capitalism. In contrast, a long tradition of critical thought, from Joseph Weizenbaum to Jaron Lanier passing through hacktivism, demonstrates that engagement with digital technologies is instrumental to develop critique and resistance against the paradoxes of digital societies. Drawing from this tradition, this article proposes the concept of “Disconnection-through-Engagement” to illuminate situated practices that mobilize disconnection in order to improve critical engagement with digital technologies and platforms. Hybridity, anonymity, and hacking are examined as three forms of Disconnection-through-Engagement, and a call to decommodify disconnection and recast it as a source of collective critique to digital capitalism is put forward.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Media, Culture and Society

Volume

42

Issue

4

Pages

626 - 633

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Sage under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

18/02/2020

Publication date

2020-04-08

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

0163-4437

eISSN

1460-3675

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Simone Natale. Deposit date: 3 March 2020

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