My second extract from Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy discusses the concept of a complex of appropriative practices. It contrasts various applications of the concept with Marxist approaches to capitalism as a mode of production.
political economy of practices
This post reproduces text from the opening pages of my 2016 book Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy. The central original contribution of this book is to propose a new framework that enables us both to see and to analyse a vast range of diverse economic forms, and to illustrate that framework by applying it to cases in the contemporary digital economy.
Google’s business hybridises a novel form of giving with a novel form of advertising in one of many economic forms that simply do not fit with the old understandings of the economy: forms that we can make more sense of as complexes of interacting economic practices.
Conventional ways of understanding the economy – including critical approaches – are deeply flawed, and we need an alternative approach: a political economy of practices.