Control Societies and Platform Logic

Williams, Alex (2015) Control Societies and Platform Logic. New Formations (84-85). pp. 209-227. ISSN 0950-2378

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Abstract

Deleuze’s concept of the control society presciently sketches a world of power as ‘universal modulation’. This article investigates the applicability of this understanding of control to today’s socio-technical systems. It examines Deleuze’s control society through the philosophy of cybernetics. This situates a restrictive interpretation with reference to Norbert Weiner’s theory of control systems in animals and machines. We argue that in maintaining a concept of control-as-homeostatic feedback modulation, cybernetic readings tend to ignore the constructive, enabling dimension of control. To remedy this, we analyse a recent concept developed in the field of business studies of information technology: the platform. Extrapolating beyond the existing literature of platform design, we develop a generalised theory of the platform as an alternative model of control, through the concept of generative entrenchment, where enablement is directly correlated with constraint and vice versa. Finally we consider the political implications of such an approach to control.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2018 14:30
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2019 01:22
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/66207
DOI: 10.398/NEWF:84/85.10.2015

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