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History and Class Consciousness 2.0: Georg Lukács in the age of digital capitalism and big data

A Research Paper by Christian Fuchs, published by Information, Communication & Society

This paper discusses the relevance of Georg Lukács’ 1923 book History and Class Consciousness in the context of digital capitalism. It does so by analysing how Lukács’ concepts of the dialectic of subject and object, ideology, reification, reified consciousness matter today in the context of big data and digital capitalism. The essay shows that History and Class Consciousness’ critique of reification, ideology, and reified consciousness remains highly topical in the age of digital capitalism and big data. Lukács’ analysis allows us to critically analyse how social media, big data, and various other Internet technologies are used as tools of reification. At the same time, Lukács reminds us that only human praxis can establish alternatives.


Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Christian Fuchs


Christian Fuchs is Professor at, and the Director of, the Communication and Media Research Institute. He is also Director of the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies.

His fields of expertise are critical digital & social media studies, Internet & society, political economy of media and communication, information society theory, social theory and critical theory.


13 May 2020
Published By
Information, Communication & Society
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