Tiziano Bonini

WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN

SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS

This is a selection of my major scientific publications (research books, articles, book chapters). If you would like to read something but do not have access, please contact me: tiziano.bonini@unisi.it

| February 2024

Algorithms are all around us, permeating more and more aspects of our daily lives. While accounts of platform power tend to come across as bleak and monolithic, Algorithms of Resistance shows how people can resist algorithms across a variety of domains. Drawing from rich ethnographic materials and perspectives from both the Global North and South, we explore how people appropriate and reconfigure algorithms to pursue their objectives in three domains of everyday life: gig work, cultural industries, and politics. We reveal how forms of algorithmic agency and resistance are endemic and mundane and how the platform society is a contested battleground of contrasting forces.

book open access

| January 2024

This article investigates the production culture and routines of “troll farms” in three Arab countries—Tunisia, Egypt, and Iraq—from a production studies approach. A production studies approach enables us to focus on the working conditions of paid trolls. We employed qualitative methods to look inside the “black box” of Arab troll farms. From February to April 2020, we conducted semi-structured interviews with eight disinformation workers at both managerial and staff levels. We propose to understand disinformation work as a specific type of digital labor, characterized by very intense shifts and emotionally burdensome daily tasks, absence of legal job contracts, and highly surveilled work environments. 

article open access

| January 2024

Grounded in more than a decade of field research, this book uses empirical examples, quantitative data, and qualitative interviews with young music consumers as well as music industry professionals to understand how the platforms behind music production, distribution and listening work in our digital society. Bringing together the perspectives from  science and technology studies, media studies, and the political economy of digital platforms, the book outlines the process of mutual construction between music digital platforms and the cultural value of music in today’s society, and also reflects on the complicated relationship between the power of platforms and the agency of listeners.

book

| October 2023

The book sheds light on the nature of the podcast, recounting its evolution, the characteristics of the industry and business models, the most popular genres, cultures and listening practices.

book

| January 2023

This article aims to understand the practices and meanings associated with the creation and use of private chat groups on instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger and WeChat, which are only accessible to operators of the online food delivery service platform.

article open access

| December 2022

In this paper, we draw on extensive ethnographic work in Italy, China, India, Mexico and Spain (conducted between 2020 and 2021) to illustrate the different digital disconnection practices developed by riders in the online food delivery sector. First, a review of the emerging literature on digital disconnection is conducted. Next, we illustrate the individual and collective disconnection dynamics enacted by online food delivery riders, analysing the meanings these actors attribute to these practices. In conclusion, by critically comparing these practices, we further reflect on the promising area of enquiry at the intersection of digital disconnection, resistance and platform labour studies.

article

| December 2022

In the wake of recent studies on «algorithmic awareness» (Eslami et al. 2015; Gran et al. 2020), this article proposes a focus on the level of this awareness (Gran et al. 2020) among Airbnb hosts. The study uses a digital ethnography (Pink et al. 2016) that includes a 4-month period of non-participant observation of closed Facebook groups formed by Airbnb hosts, from March 1 to June 30, 2021, and 15 semi-structured interviews with Airbnb hosts residing in Tuscany and Sardinia.

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| November 2022

In this contribution we show how algorithms can be weaponized by social movements and political activists to amplify their visibility on social media, to make themselves invisible or to hijack an online debate in ways that go beyond #HashtagActivism. We propose a new theoretical framework for understanding activism through the manipulation of social media algorithms, and we provide a conceptual vocabulary for understanding algorithmic activism.

article

| September 2022

In this short article I review Luciano Floridi’s book, Etica dell’intelligenza artificiale (Raffaele Cortina editore, 2022) and compare it with Kate Crawford’s, book Atlas of AI (Il Mulino 2021)

article

| September 2022

In this article, we show the complexity of the relationship existing between the power of platforms and the agency of users through the case study of engagement groups (pods) on Instagram

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| July 2022

This contribution reconstructs the deep relationship between the two disciplines focusing on the extent to which cultural studies has been useful – and still is – to understand different aspects of contemporary media and cultural and creative industries.

article

| June 2022

in this chapter I question the nature of podcasting as a medium and try to describe it as a hybrid cultural form that has re-mediated several previous media, not just radio, and is now a new medium with malleable boundaries

chapter

open access

| April 2022

Building on Mouffe’s agonistic theory and Illich’s conviviality theory, this article proposes a theoretical framework to radically rethink the guiding principles and rationales driving public service online platforms, in order to develop viable alternatives to the currently dominant commercial models. By doing so, we envision the development of such services as “convivial tools”.

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open access

| January 2022

This study explores how Chinese riders game the algorithm-mediated governing system of food delivery service platforms and how they mobilize WeChat to build solidarity networks to assist each other and better cope with the platform economy.

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open access

| December 2020

This article aims to provide a detailed rendering of the struggles we experienced while undertaking ethnographic research for the study of music curators working at online music streaming platforms.

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open access

| October 2020

This brief contribution aims to apply sociological imagination to the issues that emerged with the Covid-19 crisis and suggests some possible topics and methodologies of research. I describe three relevant themes: 1) the new role of personal data (especially those related to our health); 2) the “mediatisation” of distance; 3) the environmental impact of digital media.

article

open access

| September 2020

This article offers a methodological proposal based on an ongoing study regarding the impact of algorithmic media in everyday life. Drawing from 80 auto-ethnographic diaries kept by undergraduate students, we contend that ethnography offers a valuable approach to investigate the usages of algorithmic media

article

| November 2019

This article investigates the logics that underpin the work of music curators, working at digital music streaming platforms. Based on ethnographic research that combines participant observation and a set of interviews with key informants, the article questions the relationship between algorithmic and human curation.

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open access

| August 2019

Which actors contribute the most in making a song popular? Are the music industry and radio companies still endowed with the power to create consensus around an early released musical product or such power has been taken over by social media and digital platforms of music streaming? In this article we try to answer these questions by analysing the diffusion pattern of three newly released Italian pop songs.

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| April 2018

This article focus on what we call “haptically mediated” radio listening, a specific form of listening made possible by the interaction with radio content through mobile digital devices, and concludes with a critical depiction of the implications of haptically mediated listening for audience commodification.

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| September 2017

This paper analyses the case of Açık Radyo, the only independent and listener-supported radio station based in Istanbul, and the role it played in the Gezi Park protests of June 2013.

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open access

| May 2017

This article describes a potential “scenario” of reforming public service media license fee model through the dynamics of civic crowdfunding, allowing citizens to decide in which programs they may invest a (20%) quota

article

| November 2016

This chapter reconstructs the history of the first studies of radio production in Italy and is part of a book that aims to open the “black box” of the media and reveal precisely its backstage, the “kitchen” where the texts part of our daily lives are prepared.

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| January 2016

This article presents an investigation into the everyday lives of freelance radio producers in the Italian radio industry from a perspective that applies the sociology of work to the study of media production.

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| October 2015

This paper employs network analysis to study the digital audiences of the Twitter accounts of two Italian radio stations: RAI Radio 3 and Radio Dejay. The goal is to demonstrate how audiences can be studied using digital methods

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open access

| July 2015

In this article I trace the evolution of podcasting as a medium and argue that it is becoming a new mass medium

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open access

| December 2014

In this article, we will address the transformation of audience value by thinking through two theoretical models of audience value. Dallas Smythe’s theory of the audience commodity and Gabriel Tarde’s theory of public value.

article

| December 2014

In this chapter I trace the history of the evolution of radio listening and identify 4 distinct moments that have led to the spread of a particular listening mode today: connected listening

chapter

| April 2014

In this article we compare how two different national public radio stations, RNE (Spain) and RAI (Italy) use Twitter to interact with their audiences, highlighting the lack of true dialogue with their listeners

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opern access

| March 2014

In this article, we analyzed the content of radio newspapers of 5 Italian national radio stations, highlighting the very limited space Italian radio news gives to foreign news

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| March 2013

In this short essay I propose a cultural history of the hipster concept

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| September 2011

The article explores the use of media on the part of migrants and the role of the media not only in temporarily connecting them to their private homes or to their public sphere of origin, but also in recreating the ‘warmth’ of domesticity, in other words in ‘making them feel at home’.

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| 2010

This book is based on my Phd dissertation and examines the role of media in making us feel at home when we are away from it.

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| March 2007

This is my first scientific article and I am very fond of it. It is based on ethnographic research conducted in the San Vittore prison in Milan, Italy, in which I interviewed inmates about the role that radio played in their daily lives

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open access