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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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Web Communications Commodity Chains

Web Communications Commodity Chains

(p.83) Chapter 6 Web Communications Commodity Chains
Digital Depression

Dan Schiller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the workings of extended, Web-oriented communications commodity chains. It begins with a discussion of networks and access devices—an expansive, malleable infrastructure comprised of service, software, and applications powered by other intermediaries, vendors of everything from operating systems, browsers, search engines, and social networks to program content. It then considers how recomposition continued at a frenzied pace across this great range throughout the digital depression, signifying capital's scramble to open and to occupy high-profit boxes. It also explores the ways in which network infrastructures impacted a century-old manufacturing base and describes the apparently neutral technical feature of the emerging system's network engineering that attested to the changes that characterized the transition to the Internet. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the erosion of social responsibility around networks and how telecommunications liberalization induced a growing potential for market turmoil.

Keywords:   communications, commodity chains, networks, digital depression, capital, network infrastructure, network engineering, Internet, telecommunications, liberalization

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