Production Cultures and Differentiations of Digital Labour

  • Yujie Chen University of Maryland
Keywords: digital labour, discourse, value, data,


The article makes two theoretical interventions to engage with current scholarship on digital labour. First, the author complicates the relationship between culture and production by bringing the former from the “superstructure” in the classical Marx’s framework to the “base.” As various cultural production, consumption, and economic activities converging onto digital, networked media eco-system, digital labour is indeed the indispensable source for capitals’ accumulation of surplus and, more importantly, for cultural construction around production process. How labourers perceive their relations and interactions to the digital production process as crucial as which capacity they rely on to perform their labour. Culturalization of production process (re)draws the boundaries for desirable skills and constructs ideal digital workers with normative behaviours.  Second, precisely because the production process has become normative construction site, meanings and values of labouring are subject to broader social and cultural context including prior established global inequality and cultural differences.

Author Biography

Yujie Chen, University of Maryland

Ph.D. Candidate

American Studies Department

Philosophers of the World Unite! Theorising Digital Labour and Virtual Work - Definitions, Dimensions and Forms