Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 7, No. 1


Are Authors Authored? Cultural Politics and Literary Agency in  the Era of  the Internet

Ben Agger


Abstract: I argue that we need to view texts and all cultural products and practices as having been authored but simultaneously as constrained by the culture industry and its literary political economies.  This theoretical perception affords a social theory of the text that combines insights from German critical theory and French postmodern theory.  Viewing the inherence of reading and writing in the social allows us to conceive of strategies that liberate authors and all cultural producers from domination while keeping in mind that language will always be a prison house of sorts, captured in Derrida's notion of undecidability.  Developing a social theory of the text is especially important in the era of the internet and Web, when cultural production and transmission are opened up to many writers and readers.