Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 64 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Bret Benjamin


circulation, Facebook, immaterial labor, Marxism, production, value critique, Information society, Internet, Digital media, Information technology, Surplus value, Labor theory of value, Social media

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


The mass production of commodities has traditionally been the locus through which surplus-value and the exploitation of labor under capitalism has been examined; however, the material conditions of the twenty-first century has allowed for the appearance of new forms of labor to occur which have the capacity to create surplus-value outside of the direct production process. This thesis analyzes how the circulatory process has always had the ability to produce surplus-value, but it was not until the vast advancements made in the means of transportation and communication that this would become a commonplace practice. This work seeks to examine how the sphere of circulation has been able to adapt to the needs of capital in the twenty-first century by examining the theoretical work of Karl Marx throughout Capital and recent scholarship undertaken by scholars such as Christian Fuchs, Antonio Negri, and Michael Hardt. The potential of value production within the sphere of circulation is shown through an analysis of the exploitative labor practices used by social media firms to capitalize upon a market of free labor in order to produce surplus-value.