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Lecture 6

CS203 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Labour Power, For Marx, Communication Studies

Communication Studies
Course Code
Greigory De Peuter

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CS203 Week 6
Commodification 03/13/2016
1. Political Economy
cousins with Marxism
“concerned with issues of control, and understanding how capitalist
societies are organized… – Steeves and Wasko
scholars who work in this investigate the way in which media
systems either reinforce or challenge the status quo
oespecially the existing or social class structure
look critically at questions like who owns the media?
Interested in how ownership structures, and funding models etc.
influence the nature of media content
How media content is shaped through commercial pressures
Pays a lot more attention to the production side
E.g., scholars in political economy spend a lot of time looking at
An approach that studies the interplay of wealth, power and
2. Commodification
imagine that we don’t leave in a society with a capitalist economy
omarket place with products being bought and sold
oif we ask the people who are at the stall at the market – they
didn’t produce this food first in foremost in order to sell it
oselling it wasn’t the intention
owhat the farmer is selling is the extra
didn’t produce the food in order to make a profit
othis scenario can be contrasted with capitalism
capitalism is the exact opposite
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oit is entirely oriented to production for the market with the
purpose of making a profit
the key to profit is the commodity form
commodity as a kind of cell of capitalist accumulation (profit
Vincent Mosco – a process of converting objects or activities into
things or services that bought and sold
“process of transforming use values into exchange values”
ouse values – satisfying a human need
e.g., nutrition, shelter, pleasure etc.
oexchange value – price tag/ worth
oIf I download a song, it’s use value is the enjoyment,
exchange value is the 99 cents
The process of commodification is central to the capitalist economy
The most basic value to capitalist economy is growth
Commodification is a process through which capitalism expands
o“commodification is the way capitalism carries out its
objective of accumulating capital”
omoney in search of more money
to survive or satisfy this structural system, capitalism has a very
limited amount of option
othey can search for new things
ohow areas of our lives were once not commodities are turned
into commodities
oalso bound up for an ongoing search for ongoing consumers
conversion of children as consumers
osearch out new places to sell their commodities
geographic dimension
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