Tiziana Terranova is well-known for her thesis that the trend towards free labour in peer production is an illusion, as it has already been incorporated in capitalism.
'Tiziana Terranova is currently associate professor in the Sociology of Communications at the Dipartimento di Studi Americani, Culturali e Linguistici, Università degli Studi di Napoli 'L'Orientale'. Her research interests lie in the area of the culture, science, technology and the political economy of new media. She is the author of Corpi Nella Rete (Costa e Nolan 1996), Network Culture: politics for the information age (Pluto Press, 2004) and numerous essays on new media published in journals such as Derive e Approdi, New Formations, Ctheory, Angelaki, Social Text, Theory Culture and Society, and Trasnversal. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Studi Culturali (Il Mulino); a regular participant to the grassroots seminars of the Italian nomadic university 'uninomade'; and occasionally also a writer on matters of new media for the Italian newspaper Il manifesto. She is also currently a member of the research network ATACD (www.atacd.net, A Topological Approach to Cultural Dynamics) funded by the 6th European Framework. At the moment she is co-editing, together with Couze Venn, a special issue on Michel Foucault for the journal Theory, Culture and Society on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death."
"The shifting of time-consuming tasks from paid employees to unpaid customers when accessing banking services, is one example of enhanced interactivity. Another example would be the 15.000 volunteer maintainers of AOL’s chat-rooms. Or the attempt by the Open Source initiative to co-opt the labour power of free software engineers.These are highpoints in a broader pattern, according to Tiziana Terranova. Free labour has become structural to late capitalist cultural economy. It is therefore totally inadequate to apply the leftist favourite narrative of authentic subcultures that are hijacked by commercialism. Authentic subcultures at this point of time is a delusion, she charges. ‘Independent’ cultural production takes place within a broader capitalist framework which has already anticipated and therefore modified the ‘active consumer’. Interactivity counts to nothing else than intensified exploitation of the audience power of the user/consumer. It is not different to the intensification of exploitation of wage labourers." (http://hyperdrome.net/journal/issues/issue1/soderberg.html)
- One of the versions of the original paper is here at http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/technocapitalism/voluntary
- discussion: discussion which could possibly be linked from UOC here: http://laboralcentrodearte.uoc.edu/2010/12/17/interconnections-free-labour-and-the-social-factory/