Justin Lewis
accepted for inclusion in the edited collection DIY Composition: The Politics of Making and Mattering
Publication year: 2017

This chapter investigates the DIY acquisition of digital literacy by individuals living in economies of the Global South. Specifically, I’ll consider how workers in the Global South utilize online piracy networks to secure access to the tools and texts of the networked information economy. While construed as piratical acts by the corporate-governmental complexes of the Global North, the downloading and sharing of copyrighted material such as ebooks, software and e-learning courseware allows individuals in developing regions to circumvent the strict intellectual property regimes of Europe and North America. This circumvention allows for the acquisition of what I call “technocapitalist propriety.” This term revises 18th and 19th century Belletristic accounts of propriety as rhetorical style that builds ethos and facilitates democratic engagement, instead arguing that to be proprietous in postindustrial information economies individuals must be able to make meaning and enact symbolic action with and through digital tools and technological discourses.