Networked idiots:affective economies and neoliberal subjectivity in Russian viral video

Khalikova, Dinara and Fish, Adam Richard (2016) Networked idiots:affective economies and neoliberal subjectivity in Russian viral video. Global Media and Communication, 12 (2). pp. 143-159. ISSN 1742-7673

[thumbnail of Networked Idiots 05]
PDF (Networked Idiots 05)
Networked_Idiots_05.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (169kB)


Idiot is usually a term of derision. In this article, we reconsider the common meaning as designating a stupid person and return to an earlier etymology as signifying a private and independent individual. In ancient Greece, being idiotic meant engaging in the contemplative process of becoming an individual. At times, this pursuit of individuation differentiated such individuals as their acts occurred in public and were seen as absurd, out-of-the-ordinary and, frankly, idiotic, as most now know the term. With the widespread use of social media and digital video, these once private or semi-public acts of individuation often become explicitly public acts for others to see, critique and mimic. Social media has made it possible for these explorations of self to circulate where their emotional intensities resonate with or are rejected by viewers, are captured for profit by media corporations, and leveraged by their producers into media careers. Using a case study from Russian social media, this article describes the affective economy of idiotic videos and how the history of one Internet video illustrates the circulation, capture and self-capitalization attendant with neoliberalism.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Global Media and Communication
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Global Media and Communication, 12 (2), 2016, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Global Media and Communication page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
09 May 2016 15:16
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 01:50