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Digital DepressionInformation Technology and Economic Crisis$
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Dan Schiller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038761

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038761.001.0001

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The Historical Run-Up

The Historical Run-Up

(p.73) Chapter 5 The Historical Run-Up
Digital Depression

Dan Schiller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines recent historical trends to better understand how the massive restructuring of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector sparked a shift into networks in capitalist development. Profound technical and institutional changes in the ICT industry, which lies at the epicenter of an emerging digital capitalism, caused commodity chains that had seemed stable to buckle and recompose. The result was not uniform growth but ragged unevenness: expansionary dynamism alongside devastation. This chapter discusses how communications and information processing became the largest sectoral source of demand for ICTs and whether this major axis of change around computer networks revived the growth prospects of the wider political economy. It also considers a series of developments that radically enlarged the interoperable internet during the late 1980s and 1990s.

Keywords:   information technology, networks, digital capitalism, commodity chains, communications, information processing, computer networks, political economy, internet

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