Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller
This chapter applies a materialist, ecological approach to analyze the physical environment in which media production takes place, focusing on media-related occupations across global supply chains. We argue that conventional production studies have too narrowly circumscribed this sector and that more comprehensive research on media production labor is needed. We critique the idealism and pro-growth ideology that draws production studies toward both a focus on consciousness and the so-called aristocracy of talent. Our aim here is to find ways for media production studies to help establish a just system of environmental accounting, which challenges the creative industries to stop stealing from the Earth and from working people in the name of growth.
Only recently have we started to understand the negative impacts of digital electronic equipment worldwide. Most of us, overwhelmed by the technological wonders that these devices are capable of, forget to ask ourselves “How have they been made?” “By whom?” “Where?” “Under what conditions?”
The increasingly faster and more versatile computers, appealing mobile phones, high-definition TVs, Internet, tiny music players, ingenious photo cameras, entertaining games consoles and even electronic pets give us the idea of a developed, pioneering and modern world. It is indeed a new era for many; but the dark side of this prosperous world reveals ...