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Biopolitics and Affective Life: Investigating the Digital Ordinary


Biopolitics and Affective Life: Investigating the Digital Ordinary

Matskiv, Jacqueline (2021) Biopolitics and Affective Life: Investigating the Digital Ordinary. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis contends that the central problem of affect theory––the body’s potentiality to affect and be affected in return––is in fact a distinctly biopolitical one. Beginning from this claim, this thesis explores how biopower targets and manages the affective capacities of its subjects, and how digital media inscribe this dynamic and reflect it back to us. Specifically, it poses the following: what might a feminist inquiry into the affective logic of contemporary biopolitics, as made manifest in the digital ordinary, tell us about life under contemporary configurations of power? In posing and responding to this question, I mobilize a biopolitical paradigm to illuminate the power dynamics implicit in everyday affective life in the digital world. More specifically, I argue that social media platforms could only emerge in the context of neoliberal biopolitics, and that they can thus be mined for evidence of its mechanisms, logics and motives. Methodologically, I demonstrate that this does not require insider expertise of the workings of algorithms or the internal operations of social media companies, but rather a patient, critical attentiveness to our ordinary affective experiences online.
Keywords: biopolitics, affect, social media platforms, digital ordinary

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Matskiv, Jacqueline
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:November 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kim
ID Code:990084
Deposited By: Jacqueline Alexandra Matskiv
Deposited On:16 Jun 2022 14:51
Last Modified:16 Jun 2022 14:51
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