[iDC] Introduction: Adam Arvidsson

Adam Arvidsson adam.arvidsson at unimi.it
Tue Jul 7 10:22:25 UTC 2009


My name is Adam Arvidsson. I've been lurking on the list for a while,  but here's my introduction.

I teach sociology at the University of Milano in Italy, which is really fun and interesting- it's like watching the decline of the modern state  form ringside,  at the same time everybody is really intelligent and creative ad a lot of things are boiling in papì's dysfunctional household…

Presently I'm concluding a book manuscript called 'The Ethical Economy' - hopefully it will be out in fall 2010, until then you can find the first draft chapters here (http://www.ethicaleconomy.com/info/book )

 and an article that summarizes the main argument here (http://sites.google.com/site/adamarvidssonsite/´ - download the attachement called 'value crisis') .


Basically, the book is an attempt to come to terms with the 'massive transformations in economy, labor, and life' that the Playground & Factory conference will address in November.  I'm  arguing that we are witnessing the emergence  not just of a new mode of production, like social production and peer to peer, but a new core economic logic. Value is less related to inputs of labour time, or scarce productive resources in general, and ever more related to the ability to create sustainable social relations- hence 'ethical economy'.

So, if Marx claimed that to the extent that General Intellect becomes the most important factor of production, exchange value will lose its significance as use value', then I am adding, that instead ethics- in some form affect, networks, reputation, Whuffie, or what I call 'General Sentiment'- takes its place.


I'm also concluding a long run of empirical research on creative labour and creative industries. Together with some students and activists we've just terminated a cycle of interviews and a survey on workers in the Milan fashion industry. Looking at working conditions, motivations etc. It's really interesting stuff and I hope to be able to bring some of it with my to New York.


Finally, I also work at the Copenhagen Business School, where I'm co-leading a large research project on reputation economies (beginning in September 2009). In cooperation with the Department of Informatics at the Danish Technical University we will be trying to model the dynamics of reputation formation online, and investigate if there is indeed any correlation between online reputations (or as 'ethical value', and economic valuations on financial markets.


I'll keep you updated and pester the list with writings and fragments for the next couple of month,




Adam Arvidsson Associate Professor Department of Social and Political Sciences University of Milano via Conservatorio 7 20122 Milano, Italy tel. +39-02.503.21209 fax.+39-02.503.21240

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