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Media TechnologiesEssays on Communication, Materiality, and Society$
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Tarleton Gillespie, Pablo J. Boczkowski, and Kirsten A. Foot

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262525374

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262525374.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

Making Media Work

Making Media Work

Time, Space, Identity, and Labor in the Analysis of Information and Communication Infrastructures

Chapter:
(p.141) 8 Making Media Work
Source:
Media Technologies
Author(s):

Gregory J. Downey

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262525374.003.0008

The purpose of media technology is to make information—whether conceptualized as data, content, or knowledge—accessible across both space and time, from one context to another, and from one community of practice to the next. All such media technologies depend on different forms of human labor, each with its own temporal and spatial characteristics as well. The study of such “information labor” in spatial and temporal context must pay close attention to the social relations, political-economy, and cultural meanings that shape, and are shaped by, this labor. These ideas are explored through three historical cases of information labor — telegraph messengers, library technicians, and real-time stenographers — and their associated analytical categories of maturity, gender, and disability.

Keywords:   labor, technology, information, history, geography, telegraph, library, stenography, gender, disability

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