CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

In recent years, Silicon Valley has been portrayed as a growing centre of influence in terms of its economic, cultural, and political model. Drawing on previous research on the symbolic dimensions of capitalism, this article explores the consistency of Silicon Valley’s normative project in a moment of expansion, internationalisation, and increasing heterogeneity for the information-technology sector. This paper relies on three main materials; a prosopography of the most followed personalities (on LinkedIn and Twitter) within Silicon Valley, a lexicometric content analysis of posts from said personalities, and an ethnographic study within Silicon Valley itself. On the basis of this evidence, this paper proposes three claims. Firstly, through describing the morphology of Silicon Valley influencers, this paper seeks to highlight the central position of this group at the crossroads of numerous sectors. Secondly, this paper demonstrates the coherence of Silicon Valley influencers’ discourse, which on the one hand links promotion and self-promotion via social media, whilst on the other hand emphasising individual success and universal progress. Thirdly, this paper contends that the positive tone of this discourse, both in terms of its form and content, creates a type of immunity against the criticisms which have been levelled against the information-technology sector in the last few years.

  • Silicon Valley
  • entrepreneurship
  • social networks
  • critics
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