Digitally recoding Althusser: ideology, interpellation and the new digital landscape




Reed, Matthew

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From Facebook to Pandora, the various opportunities available online for entertainment, self-exploration and socialization have caught the attention of hundreds of millions of Internet users. While users value these opportunities for entertainment as well as an increased ability to connect with friends, these websites, in turn, are able to tap into the value of audience as commodity. While interaction is generally open and free, users are persuaded to internalize notions of commodity fetishism and commodity consumption. Further, the diversification of identity-forming opportunities available to users on these sites, although beneficial to the user, ultimately serve to benefit the sites and their corporate advertisers. It is the dialogical relationship between the user and platform in particular, that effectively veils the highly structured nature of these platforms. As a result of corporate actions on these sites, ideological interpellation, the process entailing the creation of, and recognition within, subjectivities, becomes more prevalent as a function of new technologies. This thesis will serve as an introduction to the concept of recursive interpellation and demonstrate how individuals come to configure subjectivities in the digital era.



Technology, Web 2.0, Interpellation, Recommenders