Schiller, Dan. Digital Depression: Information Technology and Economic Crisis.

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Author: Tracey J. Hayes
Date: Mar. 2021
From: Communication Research Trends(Vol. 40, Issue 1)
Publisher: Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,235 words
Lexile Measure: 1440L

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Schiller, Dan. Digital Depression: Information Technology and Economic Crisis. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. 2014. Pp. 376. ISBN 9780252038761 (cloth) $95.00; ISBN 9780252080326 (paper) $28.00; ISBN 9780252096716 (e-book) $14.95.

Dan Schiller builds on his work in Digital Capitalism with this publication. This text is a heavily-researched tome, evidenced by the 100 pages of notes for 246 pages of text which explore how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) laid the framework for the economic collapse of 2007-2008 and continues to affect the political, economic, and social aspects of our daily lives.

The book's three major sections provide a historical approach to how ICTs intertwine with the capitalistic economy. In 15 chapters, Schiller traces the way technology was first touted as an equalizer and then morphed into its opposite, furthering the reach of digital capitalism and the transnational state where financial and political gain are the goals. Part I, "Digital Capitalism's Ascent to Crisis," reviews ICT history and how the use of networks within the areas of production, finance, and the military contributed to and brought about the economic collapse. Schiller begins by explaining how the labor shift from artisans, to manufacturing, to large scale industry was the start of using technology networks to reorganize labor into a more efficient and productive process. This reorganization increased profits and simultaneously led to wage depression resulting in social and political pressures. Schiller continues by explaining how the use of networks within those three areas weakened the United States' labor force. Within production, the use of networks severed the previous tether to only one physical location. Schiller uses the automotive industry as an example of how increased investment in ICTs weakened the American auto worker. The networked financial industry compounded the economic problems of the American worker because as wages diminished, people used credit that literally and figuratively compounded the problem through...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A656312317