Affective Economies, Neoliberalism, and Governmentality
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Advanced capitalism is characterized by a level of symbolic production that not only results in a dematerialization of labor, but also increasingly relies on highly emotional components, ranging from consumption desire to workforce management. Feelings as varied as love, anger, and desire are integral to neoliberal processes, though not in unproblematic and monolithic ways. Whereas some accounts decry capitalism's hold on the emotional realm, as the commodified search for soul mates through online dating sites or Starbucks' promotion of fair-trade coffee suggest, others counter that emotions represent a privileged site of resistance to market rationality. Relying on different case studies ranging from drone strikes, the 2008 economic crisis in Ireland, and marriage migration management, this volume builds on this productive tension between subjection and resistance through the lenses of the concept of governmentality. Developed by Michel Foucault, governmentality sheds light on the ways in which economic and political life are now being managed through logics of security and economic calculations.
This volume explores how individuals might become emotionally attached to regimes of power that are detrimental to them, how neoliberal processes are concomitant with the valorization of certain emotional dispositions, and how affective economies might provide a site of resistance. This book was published as a special issue of Global Society.
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