The Ecology of Attention

Written by Yves Citton | translated by Barnaby Norman
Polity | January 10, 2017

Information overload, the shallows, weapons of mass distraction, the googlization of minds: countless commentators condemn the flood of images and information that dooms us to a pathological attention deficit.

In this new book, cultural theorist Yves Citton goes against the tide of these standard laments to offer a new perspective on the problem of attention in the digital age. Phrases like paying attention and investing one s attention attest to our mistaken belief that attention can be conceptualized in narrow economic terms. We are constantly drawn towards attempts to quantify and commodify attention, even down to counting the number of 'likes' a picture receives on Facebook or a video on YouTube. By contrast, Citton argues that we should conceptualize attention as a kind of ecology and examine how the many different environments to which we are exposed from advertising to literature, search engines to performance art condition our attention in different ways.

Publisher's website


REVIEW

"Within the growing field of attention studies, Yves Citton?s new book is a superb and indispensable intervention. He provides a devastating analysis of the neoliberal attention economy and opens up crucial pathways for resisting its imperatives."--Jonathan Crary, Columbia University

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

D'UN MONDE À L'AUTRE

Gilles Clavel's new book, "Worlds" is published this month, in French and English simultaneously. It is a collection of two short stories and a novel, where love and time contend with each other. Grab a copy and explore the paths of life in French or English!
new titles

Radicalization: Why Some People Choose the Path of Violence

In the wake of the Paris, San Bernadino, and Brussels terrorist attacks, fears over “homegrown terrorism” have surfaced to a degree not seen since September 11, 2001—especially following the news that all of the perpetrators in Paris were European citizens. A sought-after commentator in France and a widely respected international scholar of radical Islam, Farhad Khosrokhavar has spent years studying the path toward radicalization, focusing particularly on the key role of prisons as incubators of a particular brand of outrage that has yielded so many attacks over the past decade.
new titles

Farewell Floppy

It was the perfect plan: abandon pet rabbit Floppy in the woods and take a giant leap toward adulthood. Having a bunny that moonlights as a best friend is for babies, right? From Benjamin Chaud, the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of the New York Times Notable Book "The Bear's Song", comes this unforgettable, thought-provoking picture book about the power of unlikely friendships.