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Vinyl won't save us: reframing disconnection as engagement

Natale, Simone and Trere, Emiliano ORCID: 2020. Vinyl won't save us: reframing disconnection as engagement. Media, Culture and Society 42 (4) , pp. 626-633. 10.1177/0163443720914027

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Disconnection has recently come to the forefront of public discussions as an antidote to an increasing saturation with digital technologies. Yet, experiences with disconnection are often reduced to a form of disengagement that diminishes their political impact. Disconnective practices focused on health and well-being are easily appropriated by big tech corporations, defusing their transformative potential into the very dynamics of digital capitalism. In contrast, a long tradition of critical thought, from Joseph Weizenbaum to Jaron Lanier passing through hacktivism, demonstrates that engagement with digital technologies is instrumental to develop critique and resistance against the paradoxes of digital societies. Drawing from this tradition, this article proposes the concept of ‘Disconnection-through-Engagement’ to illuminate situated practices that mobilize disconnection in order to improve critical engagement with digital technologies and platforms. Hybridity, anonymity and hacking are examined as three forms of Disconnection-through-Engagement, and a call to decommodify disconnection and recast it as a source of collective critique to digital capitalism is put forward.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0163-4437
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 18 February 2020
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 00:33

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