"The Corporate Cultivation of Digital Resignation." New Media & Society, 2019.

Type: 
Article
Author(s): 
Nora A. Draper and Joseph Turow

The aim of this article is to propose a theoretical framework for studying digital resignation, the condition produced when people desire to control the information digital entities have about them but feel unable to do so. We build on the growing body of research that identifies feelings of futility regarding companies’ respect for consumer privacy by suggesting a link between these feelings and the activities of the companies they benefit. We conceptualize digital resignation as a rational response to consumer surveillance. We further argue that routine corporate practices encourage this sense of helplessness. Illuminating the dynamics of this sociopolitical phenomenon creates a template for addressing important questions about the forces that shape uneven power relationships between companies and publics in the digital age.