Chapter Preview

A Critical Communication Analysis of “The Focused Self” in Social Media Use

DOI: 10.15340/978-625-00-9894-3_4

Published: 2021 | Pages: 63 - 81

Rob McKenzie
Department of Communication, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, USA

McKenzie@esu.edu

Every minute of every day, the most egregious exploitation of human labor in the history of the world is taking place as people go on social media to “prosume” without even noticing that they are working for free for profitmaking internet companies. Using a critical communication analysis, this chapter attempts to answer why most social media users do not realize that their free labor is making so much money for internet companies, and why they do not take corrective action to remedy the lack of remuneration. The chapter draws on uses and gratifications research, reception analysis research, and political economy research to construct an ideological concept called the “The Focused Self” in order to explain why people willingly exploit their labor for profitmaking internet companies.

Purchasing Options

Please purchase to download content.

The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to the specifics of VAT rules

To access full text, please use your member or institutional sign in.

Article PDFs can be downloaded & printed


EUR 4.00

Purchasing Options

Please purchase to download content.

The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to the specifics of VAT rules

To access full text, please use your member or institutional sign in.

Article PDFs can be downloaded & printed


EUR 4.00

Blumler, J. G. (1976). The social sources of media satisfaction. Centre for Television Research, University of Leeds.

Blumeler, J.G. & Katz, E. (Eds.) (1974). The uses of mass communications—Current perspectives on gratifications research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.

Chambers, D. (2013). Social media and personal relationships. London, UK: Palgrave/MacMillan.

eMarketer. (2021). Annual revenue of Google from 2002 to 2019 (in billions). In Statista—The Statistics Portal. Retrieved March 22, 2021, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/266206/googles-annual-global-revenue/.

eMarketer. (2021). Facebook’s annual revenue from 2009 to 2019 (in billions). In Statista—The Statistics Portal. Retrieved March 22, 2020, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/268604/annual-revenue-of-facebook/

Fuchs, C. (2017). Social media: A critical introduction (2nd ed). London, UK: Sage Publications.

Fuchs, C. (2018). Social media and the capitalist crisis. In L. Basu, S. Schifferes, S. Knowles (Eds.), The media and austerity. London, UK: Taylor and Francis.

Goffman, I. (1956). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York, NY: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Company.

Grodin, D. & Lindlof, T. R. (1996). Constructing the self in a mediated world. Thousand Oaks, London: Sage Publications.

Gündüz, U. (2017). The effects of social media on identity construction. Mediterranean Journal of the Social Sciences, 8(5), 85-92.

Gunter, B. (1987). Poor reception—Misunderstanding and forgetting broadcast news. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, Associates.

Habermas, J. (1975). The legitimation crisis. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Hall, S. (1973). Encoding and decoding in the television discourse. Birmingham, England: Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies.

Horkheimer, M. (1976). Traditional and critical theory. In P. Connerton (Ed). Critical Sociology: Selected Readings, Oakland, CA: Penguin.

Katz, E.Blumler, J.G. & Gurevitch, M. (1973). Uses and gratifications research. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 4(37), 509-23.

Marx, K. (2011). Das Kapital. CreateSpace (Moore, S. Trans), Independent Publishing Platform.

Engels, F., & Marx, K. (2015). The communist manifesto. London, UK: Penguin Classics.

McKenzie, R. (2016). Rounding some corners—Observing life’s oddball ironies. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press.

Morley, D. G. (1980). The Nationwide Audience. London, England: British Film Institute.

Rubin, A. M. (2002). The uses-and-gratifications perspective of media effects. In J. Bryant & D. Zillmann (Eds.), LEA’s communication series. Media effects: Advances in theory and research (pp. 525–548). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Reissmann, A., Hauser, J., Stollberg, E., Kaunzinger, I., & Lange, K. W. (2018). The role of loneliness in emerging adults’ everyday use of facebook – An experience sampling approach. Computers in Human Behavior, 88, 47–60. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2018.06.011

Toffler, Alvin. The Third Wave. New York, NY: Bantom Press.

Valentine, A. (2017). Uses and gratifications of Facebook members 35 years and older In A. B. Albarran (Ed.), The Social Media Industries (pp 166-190). New York, NY: Routledge.

Citation Information


Cited by articles

Cited by Google Scholar

Search GoogleScholar

Altmetric Attention Score


Full Text Views

Rob McKenzie, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor (Awarded 2012) and Chairperson of the Department of Communication at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as the department’s Graduate Coordinator and as the University Advisor to WESS Radio (a 24/7 Broadcaster, Webcaster, Podcaster).  His research interests include international media, journalism, and rhetorical theory and criticism.  He earned his B.A. in History from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Penn State University. His research is published in the following journals: Communication Quarterly, Comparative Media Law, China Media Research, History of European Ideas, Derecho Comparado de La Información [Comparative Media Law Journal], Technological Horizons in Education, and World Communication.

 

Cite this chapter as:

McKenzie, R. (2021). A Critical Communication Analysis of “The Focused Self” in Social Media Use. In: Bakan U. & Lengel M. L. (eds) Social Media Archaeology from Theory to Practice (pp. 63-81). MacroWorld Pub. https://doi.org/10.15340/978-625-00-9894-3_4


Ethical Obligations Journal Sevices Contact us
Copyright © 2010-2017 MacroWorld Ltd. All Rights Reserved