Julio Cesar Lemes de Castro


This article of theoretical reflection investigates the social networks that emerge in the context of Web 2.0, such as Facebook, as dispositives of neoliberal governmentality in the sense proposed by Foucault. From the standpoint of government of self, the design of social networks establishes a competition for attention that tends to favor the neoliberal culture of performance. In terms of social organization, the way in which users intertwine their connections is paralleled by the neoliberal paradigm of spontaneous market order. Furthermore, the use of personal information on these users, encompassing all their activities within the networks, in order to set up databases to attract advertisers reflects the neoliberal tendency of colonization of the different realms of existence by economic forces. However, the tensions that accompany neoliberal governmentality in social networks reveal its limitations, opening the possibility for these networks to also act as instruments of resistance to neoliberalism.


social networks; governmentality; neoliberalism; Foucault

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