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Goodbye iSlaveA Manifesto for Digital Abolition$
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Jack Linchuan Qiu

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040627

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040627.001.0001

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Manufactured iSlaves

Manufactured iSlaves

(p.89) 4 Manufactured iSlaves
Goodbye iSlave

Jack Linchuan Qiu

University of Illinois Press

This chapter deals with the “manufactured iSlave,” beginning with the story of a Chinese teenager who sold his kidney to buy an iPhone and an iPad. It compares fanatic consumption of digital media with voluntary servitude, organ trafficking, and the consumption of slave-produced sugar that led to what anthropologist Sidney Mintz terms as “desocialized eating.” This is then followed by a broader discussion on digital labor in its various immaterial and individualized forms of exploitation that amount to enslavement, especially for those who have developed addiction to Appconn gadgets and services. iSlaves are also manufactured along the temporal dimension as they lose control over their time while chasing the latest trend in digital media. Overall, the chapter assesses the outlook of manufacturing and manufactured iSlaves as being rather bleak.

Keywords:   iSlavery, manufactured iSlave, desocialized eating, digital labor, exploitation, enslavement, digital media consumption

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