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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

At the margins of media and organization studies, the copy machine has occasionally appeared as an agent of media change in various forms: as technology of empowerment, as technology of control, as alternative technology to letterpress printing, and as transitional technology leading to the computer. This chapter discusses first how Marshall McLuhan, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, James R. Beniger, Jean Baudrillard, and Lisa Gitelman contributed to a media theory of the copy machine. Based on historical documents, it then analyses the history of the development of the copy machine and its uses in libraries, administration, business, education, and social movements. While photocopiers in libraries undermined the authors’ copyrights privileges, those in state administration challenged the internal power structures in bureaucracy.

Keywords: copy machine, Xerox, Marshall McLuhan, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, James R. Beniger, Jean Baudrillard, Lisa Gitelman, library, business, administration

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