7 The Political, Economic and Cultural Shaping of the Apple iPod

7 The Political, Economic and Cultural Shaping of the Apple iPod

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The Social Shaping of the Apple iPod
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The Social Shaping of the iPod Contexts for analyzing technology: 1) The market/capitalism (the broad macro-economic framework in which the iPod is produced as a commodity by Apple) 2) Government - patenting (the political process through which Apple acquired the monopoly rights to iPod design and trademark), 3) Development (the design of iPod by engineers and innovators within the Apple laboratory and the politics of design choices) 4) Designing iPod users (technology favours some kinds of identities, ideal user-types, over others) 5) Advertising-Communication-Marketing (messages about the iPods, which intend to cultivate demand for iPods by associating this technology with a number of cultural meanings/attributes), 6) Physical assemblage and destruction (the raw materials used to make the iPod, the assemblage of the iPod as a concrete technological artefact, and iPod’s transformation into e-waste), 7) The uses of the iPod (the complex use and effects of the iPod in society) 8) Social reception to the iPod (political struggles and conflicts surrounding the iPod) 9) Negotiability of the iPod (the complex and contradictory uses and meanings of the iPod)
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iMarket Apple Inc. is a U.S.-based transnational corporation. The Apple iPod was developed to meet the economic goals of Apple: profit-maximization. The Apple iPod is a commodity. More than 200 million iPods have been sold; more than 8 billion songs have been download from Apple iTunes. Apple had 2008 worldwide sales of US $32.48 billion Apple produces iPod commodities for sale on the global market using privately owned capital goods and a workforce of thousands of engineers, designers, and assemblers.
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iPatent, iControl Before the iPod became a commodity, it was an idea. How did the idea become a commodity? States facilitate the transformation of a technological idea into a privately owned commodity through a legal system of patent granting. A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by the government (or state) to the inventor for a fixed period of time (initially only 17 years, but this is changing); it grants the inventor the exclusive right to work under it, sell it in part or whole, or grant licenses for its exclusive
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This note was uploaded on 01/18/2012 for the course POLITICS POL 507 taught by Professor Mirlees during the Fall '11 term at Ryerson.

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7 The Political, Economic and Cultural Shaping of the Apple iPod

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