New Media and the Global Economy

Clement Lime

The course will examine critical debates about the political, economic, and social impact of new communication technology on the world economy. Students will discuss issues such as market access, monopoly, property rights, illicit markets, social capital, and network effects in the contemporary cultural environment. How have markets changed in response to evolving techology and consumer tastes, and how can business turn the challenges of the global economy into new opportunities for innovation? Students will take turns leading class discussion, prepare an annotated bibliography, and write a case study of a firm that has creatively managed a problem arising from the use of new technology by consumers and/or competitors.

Week 1: Globalization

• David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity
• Jim Hollander, “International Markets: Labels Eye the New Frontier”
• Christopher Wren, “Off-Key or Off-Color, Tunes of the West Worry China”

Week 2: Monopoly and Regulation

• Ben Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly
• Robert McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy

Week 3: DIY and Diversification

• Stephen Duncombe, Voices from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture
• Amy Spencer, DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture
• Cass Sunstein, Republic.com

Week 4: Old Media and the Chandlerian Firm

• David Suisman and Susan Strasser, eds., Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Week 5: New Media and Niche Retail

• Chris Anderson, “The Long Tail”

Week 6: The Social Construction of E-Commerce

• Peter Kollock, “The Production of Trust in Online Markets”
• John M. Grohol, “Anonymity and Online Communty: Identity Matters”

Week 7: Social Production and Participatory Media

• Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks
• Stacey Schiff, “Know It All: Can Wikipedia Conquer Expertise?”

Week 8: Free Media

• Eben Moglen, “The dotCommunist Manifesto” and “Speech for Harvard Journal of Law & Technology”

Week 9: Information Nodes

• Manuel Castells, Technopoles of the World: The Making of Twenty-First Century Industrial Complexes
• Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, London, and Tokyo

Week 10: Uneven Development

• Oswald and Gladys Ganley, Global Political Fallout: The VCR's First Decade
• Michael Ryan, Knowledge Diplomacy: Global Competition and the Politics of Intellectual Property

Week 11: Market Failure

• Lucas Hilderbrand, Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Video and Copyright
• Brian Larkin, Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria

Week 12: The Promise of Open Source

• Michelle Delio, “The Developing World Needs Linux”
• Frederick Noronha, “Pakistan Government Looks to the Linux Users Group”

Weeks 13 and 14: The Response of Business

• Julia Angwin, Sarah McBride, and Ethan Smith, “Record Labels Turn Piracy Into a Marketing Opportunity”
• Lawrence Liang, Atrayee Mazmdar and Mayur Suresh, "Copyright/Copyleft: Myths about Copyright"
• Matt Mason, The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism

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