About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2438-2444
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

PRODUCING SPECTACLES IN THE POST-FORDIST WORLD OF OUR LAPTOPS

S. Dugal

University of Rhode Island (UNITED STATES)
Introduction:
Space and time are basic categories of human existence. We've been experiencing the disorienting and disruptive impact of time-space compression on our lives. (David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity).

Time-space compression has been called by terms such as Post-Fordism and Flexible Accumulation (David Harvey).The reduction of turn-over time and the advent of small-batch production and sub-contracting, that Harvey talks about, is matched with an accelerating turn-over time in consumption. The aesthetic of this high turn-over experience on our laptops celebrates 'difference, ephemerality, spectacle, fashion, and the commodification of cultural forms.'

Pierre Bourdieu's term 'cultural-capital' is relevant for producing spectacles. How much cultural-capital have you got in your laptop?

We're interested in notions like 'cultural-capital' because 'these shifts on the consumption side, coupled with changes in production, information gathering and financing, seem to underly a remarkable proportionate surge in service employment.'

Cultural-Capital:
Cultural-capital is defined by Pierre Bourdieu as: "forms of knowledge, skills, education, and advantages that a person has, which give them a higher status in society. Parents provide their children with cultural capital by transmitting the attitudes and knowledge needed to succeed in the current educational system."

Usually the term "capital" is associated with the economic sphere and monetary exchange. However, Bourdieu's use of the term is broader. He employs it in a wider system of exchanges whereby assets of different kinds are transformed and exchanged within complex networks or circuits within and across different fields.

Producing Spectacles:
The need to build 'cultural-capital' is because the "need to accelerate turn-over time in consumption has led to a shift in emphasis from production of goods (landscaping, delivering oil, doing taxes, selling real estate, small businesses) to the production of events (such as 'spectacles' that have an almost instantaneous turnover time). There is a marked shift in occupational structure from small business start-ups to high-growth start-ups.

Our postings in digital space are 'spectacles' on our laptops. (Guy Debord). We are 'a spectacle' unto each other, and so we thrive on our laptops.

Society of Consumers:
Zygmunt Bauman talks about the advent of "liquid modernity" where our society of producers is transformed into a 'society of consumers.' Your laptop is an example of it. 'In this new consumer society, individuals become simultaneously the promoters of commodities and the commodities they promote.' In your laptops, you are, at one and the same time, the merchandise and the marketer, the goods and the traveling salespeople. You all inhabit the same social space that is customarily described by the term 'the market.' According to Zygmunt Bauman this subtle and pervasive transformation of consumers into commodities is the most important feature of the 'society of consumers.'

To survive in such a space, to win the prize, so to speak, requires you to 'recast yourselves as products capable of drawing attention to yourselves.' In other words, there is a symbolic struggle for recognition in the digital space of your laptop and you are either a winner or a loser here.

In our paper, we will use examples of "cultural-capital" and "autoethnography" for showing the process of producing 'spectacles' in a post-Fordist workplace.
@InProceedings{DUGAL2013PRO2,
author = {Dugal, S.},
title = {PRODUCING SPECTACLES IN THE POST-FORDIST WORLD OF OUR LAPTOPS},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {2438-2444}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Dugal
TI - PRODUCING SPECTACLES IN THE POST-FORDIST WORLD OF OUR LAPTOPS
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 2438
EP - 2444
ER -
S. Dugal (2013) PRODUCING SPECTACLES IN THE POST-FORDIST WORLD OF OUR LAPTOPS, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 2438-2444.
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