Commodification and Disruption

Theorizing Digital Capitalism




Digital Capitalism, Digitalization, Disruption, Commodification


There is little disagreement that digital technologies are transforming contemporary economies and societies. However, scholars have only begun to systematically think about how digitalization – the process whereby more and more of what we say, think, and do becomes mediated by digital technologies – is both driven by and transformative of capitalism. This paper argues that when one speaks about digitalization, one cannot be silent about capitalism. It reconstructs commodification and disruption as key features of capitalist development. It then shows how three digital revolutions – the platform, (big) data, and artificial intelligence revolutions – have ushered in a new wave of commodification and disruption, giving rise to digital capitalism. Finally, it discusses the challenges commodification and disruption pose in the form of redistribution of resources, rebalancing of power, rule adaption, and market re-embedding. The paper brings together a wide range of scholarship to offer a historically and theoretically grounded framework for how to think about and study the rise of digital capitalism.


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How to Cite

Seidl, T. (2023). Commodification and Disruption: Theorizing Digital Capitalism. Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society, 3(1).



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