IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/cnpexx/v20y2015i1p1-20.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Beyond Flows, Fluids and Networks: Social Theory and the Fetishism of the Global Informational Economy

Author

Listed:
  • John Michael Roberts
  • Jonathan Joseph

Abstract

In this paper we critically explore some of the arguments made by those social theorists who claim that we live in a new global economy defined by informational and technological flows, fluids and networks. By recourse to Marx's concept of fetishism we argue that these theorists often fetishise the very social changes in the global economy they are trying to describe. As a result, they articulate a 'flat ontology' of concrete and contingent relations that mistakenly claims to capture the most important dynamics of global capitalism. We reject this approach, preferring instead to see global capitalism as a dialectical flux between concrete and more abstract processes. These critical points are developed by drawing on Marxism to explore how these social theorists often reproduce unhelpful dualisms in social theory, how they fetishise technology, how some of their arguments run parallel to a management justification logic of the market world and finally how they present a limited explanation of global finance.

Suggested Citation

  • John Michael Roberts & Jonathan Joseph, 2015. "Beyond Flows, Fluids and Networks: Social Theory and the Fetishism of the Global Informational Economy," New Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 1-20, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:cnpexx:v:20:y:2015:i:1:p:1-20
    DOI: 10.1080/13563467.2013.861413
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/13563467.2013.861413
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:cnpexx:v:20:y:2015:i:1:p:1-20. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/cnpe20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.