A response is needed to the numerous issues spurred by the expansion of the gig economy, where flexible patterns of employment prevail in contrast to permanent jobs. In this context of the exponential growth of the digital economy and underlying business models the largest nationwide study of its kind into the impact of the working conditions in the UK music industry ‘Can Music Make You Sick?’ has been conducted by MusicTank/University of Westminster.
This research suggests the need to consider the future of work not only from an economic or employment law perspective but from a mental health one too. What are the psychological implications of precarious work and how are factors such as financial instability, the feedback economy and personal relationships reflected in mental health outcomes or connected to the business relationships most musicians and other gig economy participants work under?
Authors Sally-Anne Gross, George Musgrave and Laima Janciute consider which policy measures may help or harm gig economy workers including the taxation of self-employed workers, a universal basic income, education around mental health issues and access to mental health support.Book Details
The portrayal of disfigurement in the UK media must change. This policy brief is based on recent research that found a general negative and sensationalised attitude towards disfigurement in the media.
Disfigurement is a condition that can affect anyone at any time in life regardless their social or demographic background due to accidents or health conditions or be congenital. In the UK, one in 111 people have facial disfigurements.
In order to improve the ways in which media portray disfigurement, this policy brief argues that media should move away from sensationalised coverage on disfigurement and focus instead on the lived experiences of individuals with this condition. It recommends strengthening diversity-oriented editorial practices and training as well as media literacy education. In addition, it addresses the lack of guidelines on the portrayal of disfigurement and urges regulatory bodies to be more efficient in handling complaints.Book Details
Taste usually occupies the bottom of the sensorial hierarchy, as the quintessentially hedonistic sense, too close to the animal, the elemental and the corporeal, and for this reason disciplined and moralised. At the same time, taste is indissolubly tied to knowledge. To taste is to discriminate, emit judgement, enter an unstable domain of synaesthetic normativity where the certainty of metaphysical categories begins to crumble. This second title in the ‘Law and the Senses’ series explores law using taste as a conceptual and ontological category able to unsettle legal certainties, and a promising tool whereby to investigate the materiality of law’s relation to the world. For what else is law’s reduction of the world into legal categories, if not law’s ingesting the world by tasting it, and emitting moral and legal judgements accordingly? Through various topics including coffee, wine, craft cider and Japanese knotweed, this volume explores the normativities that shape the way taste is felt and categorised, within and beyond subjective, phenomenological and human dimensions. The result is an original interdisciplinary volume – complete with seven speculative ‘recipes’ – dedicated to a rarely explored intersection, with contributions from artists, legal academics, philosophers, anthropologists and sociologists.Book Details
Understandings of freedom are often discussed in moral, theological, legal and political terms, but they are not often set in a historical perspective, and they are even more rarely considered within their specific language context. From Homeric poems to contemporary works, the author traces the words that express the various notions of freedom in Classical Greek, Latin, and medieval and modern European idioms. Examining writers as varied as Plato, Aristotle, Luther, La Boétie, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Stirner, Nietzsche, and Foucault among others, this theoretical mapping shows old and new boundaries of the horizon of freedom. The book suggests the possibility of transcending these boundaries on the basis of a different theorization of human interactions, which constructs individual and collective subjects as processes rather than entities. This construction shifts and disseminates the very locus of freedom, whose vocabulary would be better recast as a relational middle path between autonomous and heteronomous alternatives.Book Details
Through algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), objects and digital services now demonstrate new skills they did not have before, right up to replacing human activity through pre-programming or by making their own decisions. As part of the internet of things, AI applications are already widely used today, for example in language processing, image recognition and the tracking and processing of data.
This policy brief illustrates the potential negative and positive impacts of AI and reviews related policy strategies adopted by the UK, US, EU, as well as Canada and China. Based on an ethical approach that considers the role of AI from a democratic perspective and considering the public interest, the authors make policy recommendations that help to strengthen the positive impact of AI and to mitigate its negative consequences.Book Details
Google and Facebook currently control close to two-thirds of global advertising revenue. While dominating the online advertising market, these two companies have thus far avoided paying adequate taxes.
This CAMRI policy brief presents a new policy innovation, the online advertising tax. Considering the key role of user activity and user data for the value of Google and Facebook’s services, it explains how digital advertising companies’ revenues could be taxed based on the respective country in which targeted users are located.
The author reviews existing policy arguments and policy options and sets out practical steps to ensure that tax avoidance by online advertising companies is mitigated. Furthermore, he illustrates how tax revenues could be used to support public service internet platforms.Book Details
Online advertising will soon form the largest share of global advertisement revenues. Google and Facebook netted profits of US $29 billion in 2016. While these two giants control more than 66% of all online advertising revenues complex legal company structures have minimised their tax liabilities. This extended policy report considers where they should be taxed and where the value of their activities is actually created. It argues that tax paid by those platforms should be levied in the country where platform users are located when they click on or view an advertisement. Furthermore, the report examines the practical steps needed to ensure transparent accounting of taxed transactions in order to avoid long term negative effects for media and democracy.
Considering counter-arguments the author makes the case for an online advertising tax alongside a public service Internet strategy that could support other viable platforms and counter the dangers of duopoly or oligopoly and the high risks of financial bubbles in a world where advertising is the Internet's dominant business model.Book Details
What is ‘social capital’? The enormous positivity surrounding it conceals the instrumental economic rationality underpinning the notion as corporations silently sell consumer data for profit. Status chasing is just one aspect of a process of transforming qualitative aspects of social interactions into quantifiable metrics for easier processing, prediction, and behavioural shaping.
A work of critical media studies, Social Capital Online examines the idea within the new ‘network spectacle’ of digital capitalism via the ideas of Marx, Veblen, Debord, Baudrillard and Deleuze. Explaining how such phenomena as online narcissism and aggression arise, Faucher offers a new theoretical understanding of how the spectacularisation of online activity perfectly aligns with the value system of neoliberalism and its data worship. Even so, at the centre of all, lie familiar ideas – alienation and accumulation – new conceptions of which he argues are vital for understanding today’s digital society.Book Details
This book highlights that the capacity for gathering, analysing, and utilising vast amounts of digital (user) data raises significant ethical issues. Annika Richterich provides a systematic contemporary overview of the field of critical data studies that reflects on practices of digital data collection and analysis. The book assesses in detail one big data research area: biomedical studies, focused on epidemiological surveillance. Specific case studies explore how big data have been used in academic work.
The Big Data Agenda concludes that the use of big data in research urgently needs to be considered from the vantage point of ethics and social justice. Drawing upon discourse ethics and critical data studies, Richterich argues that entanglements between big data research and technology/ internet corporations have emerged. In consequence, more opportunities for discussing and negotiating emerging research practices and their implications for societal values are needed.
An electronic version of this book is freely available, thanks to the support of libraries working with Knowledge Unlatched. KU is a collaborative initiative designed to make high quality books Open Access for the public good. More information about the initiative and details about KU's Open Access programme can be found at www.knowledgeunlatched.org.Book Details
Vision traditionally occupies the height of the sensorial hierarchy. The sense of clarity and purity conveyed by vision, allows it to be explicitly associated with truth and knowledge. The law has always relied on vision and representation, from eye-witnesses to photography, to imagery and emblems. The law and its normative gaze can be understood as that which decrees what is permitted to be and become visible and what is not. Indeed, even if law’s perspectival view is bound to be betrayed by the realities of perception, it is nonetheless productive of real effects on the world.
This first title in the interdisciplinary series ‘Law and the Senses’ asks how we can develop new theoretical approaches to law and seeing that go beyond a simple critique of the legal pretension to truth. This volume aims to understand how law might see and unsee, and how in its turn is seen and unseen. It explores devices and practices of visibility, the evolution of iconology and iconography, and the relation between the gaze of the law and the blindness of justice. The contributions, all radically interdisciplinary, are drawn from photography, legal theory, philosophy, and poetry.Book Details
Will be part of the Critical Digital and Social Media Studies series
Not since Marx identified the manufacturing plants of Manchester as the blueprint for the new capitalist society has there been a deeper transformation of the fundamentals of our social life. As capitalism faces a series of structural crises, a new social, political and economic dynamic is emerging: peer-to-peer. This book asks what is peer-to-peer (P2P)? Why is it so important to building a commons-centric future? And how could this happen? Using a political economy framework this book discusses various cases exemplifying P2P commons-orientated value models. This book aims to critically intervene through proposals for a commons transition strategy. In this way it illustrates how state, market and civil society can build more inclusive and sustainable institutions.
The Blitz Companion offers a unique overview of a century of aerial warfare, its impact on cities and the people who lived in them. It tells the story of aerial warfare from the earliest bombing raids and premonitions through to the NATO bombings during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, and subsequent bombings in the aftermath of 9/11. The book focuses on air raids precautions, evacuation and preparations for total war, and resilience, both of citizens and of cities. The legacies of air raids, from reconstruction to commemoration, are also discussed. Uniquely accessible, comparative and broad in scope this book draws key conclusions about civilian experience in the twentieth century.