"Sharing is caring" : Om Piratbyrån och kognitiv praxis i en ny social rörelse

by Linde, Jessica

Abstract (Summary)
Words like pirates and anti-pirates are becoming common features in the cultural political debate of today, and the file-sharing phenomenon has become a more and more delicate and disputed subject. The fact that people are organizing in networks to swap computerfiles with each other has, among other things, led film and music companies from all over the world to initiate a number of anti-piracy organizations, assigned to protect the right to culture and information. The industrial organization Antipiratbyrån (the Anti-pirate Bureau) and the network Piratbyrån (the Pirate Bureau) have on several occasions been used to represent the prevailing conflict in Sweden. The purpose of this study is to apply a sociological perspective to the collective act of file sharing. Additionally, the purpose is to argue that the activity can be understood as a social movement, although it is rarely referred to as such. By focusing on the distinctly organized part of the file-sharing movement, the goal has principally been to answer how the collective action and the conveyance of knowledge, that is taking place within the movement, can be understood and which the fundamental ideas are. The study has its starting point in theories about the cognitive praxis – or core identity – of social movements. Among the methods used, interviews with representatives from Piratbyrån were valuable tools, but also other sources, like the Piratbyrån website and forum along with their participation in the media, have been the basis of the analysis. This led to a few conclusions worth considering. The most important result of the study is that it is relevant to talk about a new social movement. This movement is above all characterized by individual autonomy, expressed in a fundametal belief in the individual and some kind of “egoistic” solidarity. Closely connected to this is the everyday practice that makes the existence of the movement possible. The conclusion of the study is that the use of the technology is experienced as a political act, associated by the activists to a decentralization of power and control. Therefore, any restraint of the technology is also experienced as a restraint of man’s autonomy.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Växjö universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:file sharing piratbyrån social movements cognitive praxis


Date of Publication:03/16/2006

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