By Nick Dyer-Witheford
The utopian promise of the web, a lot stated even many years in the past, has given option to brutal realities: coltan mines within the Congo, electronics factories in China, devastated neighborhoods in Detroit. Cyber-Proletariat exhibits us the dark-side of the knowledge revolution via an unsparing research of sophistication energy and computerization.
Dyer-Witheford investigates how expertise enables starting to be polarization among filthy rich elites and precarious employees. He unearths the category domination at the back of every thing from increasing on-line surveillance to intensifying robotization. whilst, he seems to be at probabilities for info expertise inside of radical activities.
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Extra resources for Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex
I think this is nowhere better illustrated than in his paper ‘Implicit Observation: Further Notes on Cross-Classification’ (Baldamus 1973a). Whereas in the earlier paper he had been concerned to show the pervasiveness of cross-classification across statistical empirical work and theoretical practice, here he is struck by the semantics of two kinds of unexpected connections that cross-classification techniques can throw up. These, he noticed, were of two kinds: pleonasms and paradoxes. 4 Pleonasms and paradoxes (Baldamus 1973a: 1) (Society) repressive permissive (Personality) intolerance tolerance If one takes the diagonal connection we can see that repressive tolerance serves as an example of a paradox.
Baldamus 1971a: 12) Secondly, there is a form of trivialisation that arises when what starts off as sociological theory crosses into another discipline. This can prove very problematical if, as Baldamus believed, the central theories of different disciplines are incommensurable. He himself had considerable contact with economists and had worked with them on research projects. An example of what he had in mind was the first volume of the Affluent Worker study (Goldthorpe et al. 1968). He pointed out that the central sociological problem was concerned with the theory of social stratification and the changing class structure in modern society.
In Two Styles of Social Research he pointed out, for example, that as matters now stand ‘the propositional meaning of many macroscopic statements is ambiguous and unclear; the conceptual meaning of many molecular statements is often barren’ (Mills 1963: 566). His emphasis on the idea that the intellectual craftsman needs to shuttle between the macroscopic and molecular levels both in formulating the problem and in explaining it has much in common with Baldamus’s argument. It challenges the conventional hypothetical-deductive logic that 26 The Sociology of Wilhelm Baldamus And there the paper ends with the problem of how real sociological knowledge can be obtained unsolved.