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Digital media infrastructures: pipes, platforms, and politics

Plantin, Jean-Christophe ORCID: 0000-0001-8041-6679 and Punathambekar, Aswin (2018) Digital media infrastructures: pipes, platforms, and politics. Media, Culture & Society. ISSN 0163-4437

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Over the past decade, a growing body of scholarship in media studies and other cognate disciplines has focused our attention on the social, material, cultural, and political dimensions of the infrastructures that undergird and sustain media and communication networks and cultures across the world. This infrastructural turn assumes greater significance in relation to digital media and in particular, the influence that digital platforms have come to wield. Having “disrupted” many sectors of social, political, and economic life, many of the most widely used digital platforms now seem to operate as infrastructures themselves. This special issue explores how an infrastructural perspective reframes the study of digital platforms and allows us to pose questions of scale, labor, industry logics, policy and regulation, state power, cultural practices, and citizenship in relation to the routine, everyday uses of digital platforms. In this opening article, we offer a critical overview of media infrastructure studies and situate the study of digital infrastructures and platforms within broader scholarly and public debates on the history and political economy of media infrastructures. We also draw on the study of media industries and production cultures to make the case for an inter-medial and inter-sectoral approach to understanding the entanglements of digital platforms and infrastructures.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2018 15:30
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 23:05

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