The years following the 2008 economic crisis have seen a return to questions of social reproduction (e.g. Bhattacharya 2017, Cooper and Waldby 2014, Dimitrakaki et al. 2016, Fraser 2016, Federici 2012, Laboria Cuboniks 2015, Preciado 2013, Vora 2015, and Weeks 2011). A series of issues and problems that were at stake in the ‘domestic labour debates’ of the 1970s and ’80s (e.g. Malos 1980) have been revisited and variously reaffirmed or rethought. Johanna Brenner and Barbara Laslett’s (1989) influential definition of feminist work on social reproduction describes it as addressing ‘the activities and attitudes, behaviours and emotions, responsibilities and relationships directly involved in the maintenance of life on a daily basis, and intergenerationally’. As such, it has encompassed an engagement with the (gendered) ways needs and expectations are met, how the young, the elderly, the ill and others are cared for, the manner in which socialisation take place, and the ways sexuality is produced, organised and regulated. These phenomena have often also been studied in terms of the role they play in reproducing society as a whole; both how they serve to reproduce society’s means of producing, and how they (re-)produce various social hierarchies, differences, and forms of inclusion/exclusion. (more…)
Please join us for the launch of our fourth issue on “Media and Migration” at the Welcome and Learning Center in Lüneburg on July 4th. spheres: Journal for Digital Cultures is an open peer reviewed web journal associated with the Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC) at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. It is concerned with contemporary, historical and emerging discussions about digital cultures, while at the same time exploring the theoretical, political and social stakes within these debates.
In our fourth issue of spheres, we investigate the significance of digital technologies for migration and the relation between migratory regimes and practices on the one hand, and digital cultures and infrastructures on the other.
For more information, visit the Facebook event that you can find here.
Have a look at our newest contribution to Issue #3: Unstable Infrastructures! In their article “Humanitarian Media Intervention”, Tim Schütz and Sebastian Kubitschko focus on the entanglement of forced migration, humanitarianism and the attempt to spread sociotechnical imaginaries of alternative wireless networks. By the example of “Freifunk for Refugees”, the authors highlight the struggle for migrants’ communication rights – not only in terms of providing Internet access at refugee shelters but also of articulating the infrastructural and political implications of open communication networks.
No digital cultures without infrastructures! This issue will look into the theoretical as well as practical explorations of infrastructures as operational backbone of digital cultures. We deem infrastructures, understood as an ensemble of human, social and technological individuals, important for yielding new forms of knowledge, which are able to challenge and transform the current architecture of infrastructural systems, software protocols, and network media, represented by corporate Internet-platforms like Amazon, Facebook or Google. Even though we have been witnessing an ‘explosion’ of the discourse around digital cultures and its infrastructures in the last years, most of the research and critique in this field is still based on the model of a predefined network, thereby repeating the epistemological presuppositions of nodes and links, rather than thinking about alternative perspectives for our technocultural future. Beyond commercial media platforms, where the individual remains a clearly identifiable point within the network, in order to address him or her with personalized ads, network technologies contain the potential to foster new forms of subjectivity, where the individual becomes a network itself – from the networked individual to the individual as network. (more…)