How Capitalism Forms Our Lives

1st Edition

Alyson Cole, Estelle Ferrarese

Routledge
July 29, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 118 Pages
ISBN 9780367322243 - CAT# 317894

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Summary

By using the concept of capitalism as a “form of life”, the authors in this volume reconceive capitalism, and its mechanisms and effects on our bodies and on our common life.

The idea that capitalism is more than a discrete economic system and instead a “form of life” that shapes our relationships with others, our sense of ourselves and our capacities, practices, bodies, and actions in the material world should be rather obvious. Yet efforts — whether through criticism or policy remedies — to redress the vast inequalities, inherent exploitation, alienation, and the manifold destructive effects of capitalism on the environment, typically proceed without grappling fully with the entwinement of the economic with the social and cultural, much less the ethical, ontological, and phenomenological. This volume proposes “form of life” as a heuristic tool, connecting literatures that often remain isolated from one another – the Frankfurt School, neo-materialism, Wittgenstein’s philosophy, Foucault’s and Agamben’s biopolitics, and Marx’s discussion of reproduction. In emphasizing economic practices, as opposed to capitalism as a system, they conceive of “the economic” as an integral and integrated dimension of life, and thus develop new possibilities for critique. Viewing human beings as “economic bios,” provides a needed alternative to analyses that position neoliberalism as an economic logic imposed upon the social and cultural.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal for Cultural Research.

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