From Silicon Valley to Foxconn
Term: Fall 2021 - Full Term (08/30/2021 - 12/13/2021)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|Start Date||End Date||Days||Time||Location|
|8/30/2021||12/13/2021||T||6:10pm - 9:00pm||HORT 201|
CMN 670 From Silicon Valley to Foxconn: Global Digital Capitalism
From young Internet users in Ghana’s Internet café to American Uber drivers to Chinese factory workers assembling iPhones, this course exposes you to the multifaceted lived experiences under global digital capitalism while grounding them in the history and theory of capitalism as an uneven world system. The design of this course encourages you to think critically about what’s new and not so new about capitalism in its contemporary digital/neoliberal phase. It helps you identify the on-going technology-driven social transformations on a global scale and understand the specific ways in which entrepreneurs, workers, consumers, activists of various gender, racial, class, and national backgrounds experience and shape social changes.
After defining global digital capitalism, we will get a first taste of its world-making power through a concrete case study of Apple as a global tech corporation that organizes its production and market transnationally. Then we move on to explore the transformations taking place since the 1970s that have brought about the so-called “neoliberal” new world order. We pay particular attention to how digital technologies intersect with macro processes of platformization, financialization, and flexibilization of labor. Next, we examine the specific ways in which digital capitalism impact individuals and groups that are variously positioned along the axes of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and nation, opening up new opportunities while putting on constraints and creating inequalities. We conclude by looking at the challenges and opportunities presented by the 2008 global financial crisis for global digital capitalism.
In doing so, the course provides you with the languages and theoretical tools to make sense of your own conditions as technology users and producers and appreciate how your existence as citizens, consumers, and workers/entrepreneurs, and the decisions you make inevitably determine and are determined by global structural forces and are linked to numerous other people who may or may not look and think like you. It also equips you with the historical knowledge and social framework to understand and analyze ongoing technological changes, related governmental policies, corporate decisions, social controversies, and consumer/employee behaviors. Ultimately, the course helps you horn your professional skills and learn to become a more informed and responsible global citizen.