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The Liquefaction of Publicness: Communication, Democracy and the Public Sphere in the Internet Age, Vol. 25 - 2018, No. 1

Fast-Capitalist Veils from Communication Theory for “The Public” and Its “Discourse”

, pages: 184-192

Old and new terminologies in communication studies spin mercantile metaphors of transportation and distribution that cover like a veil the field’s rootedness in a capitalist lexicon and a capitalist history. Its threads bewilder enough to have spurred harmonising and differentiating accounts in communication theory and conceptions of the public—veils of capitalist justifications firmly tethered in the evolution of capitalist society. Thus an industrialising past of commercial interests also knits accounts today of “communication” and “the public.” Woven as a well-conventionalised lexicon, a few threads tether the rest, obdurately, in plain sight. “Message,” “network,” “audience,” “content,” among others, support a capitalist past and a fast-capitalist present. Communication theory thus becomes a useful tool of fast capitalism.

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