From Thomas Piketty to David Harvey, scholars are increasingly questioning whether we are entering into a post-capitalist era. If so, does this new epoch signal the failure of capitalism and emergence of alternative systems? Or does it mark the ultimate triumph of capitalism as it evolves into an unstoppable entity that takes new forms as it engulfs its opposition? After Capitalism brings together leading scholars from across the academy to offer competing perspectives on capitalism's past incarnations, present conditions, and possible futures. Some contributors reassess classic theorizations of capitalism in light of recent trends, including real estate bubbles, debt relief protests, and the rise of a global creditocracy. Others examine Marx's writings, unemployment, hoarding, "capitalist realism," and coyote (trickster) capitalism, among many other topics. Media and design trends locate the key ideologies of the current economic moment, with authors considering everything from the austerity aesthetics of reality TV to the seductive smoothness of liquid crystal. Even as it draws momentous conclusions about global economic phenomena, After Capitalism also pays close attention to locales as varied as Cuba, India, and Latvia, examining the very different ways that economic conditions have affected the relationship between the state and its citizens. Collectively, these essays raise provocative questions about how we should imagine capitalism in the twenty-first century. Will capitalism, like all economic systems, come to an end, or does there exist in history or elsewhere a hidden world that is already post-capitalist, offering alternative possibilities for thought and action?
From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, revolutions in theory, politics, and cultural experimentation swept around the world. These changes had as great a transformative impact on the right as on the left. A touchstone for activists, artists, and theorists of all stripes, the year 1968 has taken on new significance for the present moment, which bears certain uncanny resemblances to that time. The Long 1968 explores the wide-ranging impact of the year and its aftermath in politics, theory, the arts, and international relations--and its uses today.
In Neutral Accent, A. Aneesh employs India's call centers as useful sites for studying global change. The horizon of global economic shift, the consequences of global integration, and the ways in which call center work "neutralizes" racial, ethnic, and national identities become visible from the confines of their cubicles. In his interviews with call service workers and in his own work in a call center in the high tech metropolis of Gurgoan, India, Aneesh observed the difficulties these workers face in bridging cultures, laws, and economies: having to speak in an accent that does not betray their ethnicity, location, or social background; learning foreign social norms; and working graveyard shifts to accommodate international customers. Call center work is cast as independent of place, space, and time, and its neutrality--which Aneesh defines as indifference to difference--has become normal business practice in a global economy. The work of call center employees in the globally integrated marketplace comes at a cost, however, as they become disconnected from the local interactions and personal relationships that make their lives anything but neutral.
Aneesh draws on the sociology of science, social theory, and research on migration to illuminate the practical and theoretical ramifications of virtual migration.
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