This article concerns the temporality of debt. Against the claim that the society of debt has emptied out futures via the elevation of the promise to pay to a total social fact, it suggests that the time of securitized debt is speculative in form. Thus, in the time of securitized debt, pasts, presents and futures do not stand in a pre-set relation to one another, but are open to a constant state of revision: they may be drawn and redrawn, assembled and disassembled, set and reset. This time is tracked across changing schedules of household and personal debt − and crucially in the logics of accumulation via securitized debt – to argue that far from emptying out futures debt society demands subjects who must constantly adjust to recalibrations of pasts, presents and futures as well as to changes in the relations between and across these states.
How might Bourdieu's social philosophy and social theory be of use to feminism? And how might it relate to -or possibly even fruitfully reframe -the ongoing problematics and current theoretical issues of feminism? It is very well recognized that Bourdieu's social theory had relatively little to say about women or gender (although see Bourdieu, 2001) with most of his writings framed preeminently in terms of issues of class (Moi, 1991). Yet the premise of this volume is that this substantive omission should not be taken to mean that Bourdieu's theoretical apparatus does not necessarily have relevance for feminism. Other key contemporary social theorists such as Foucault and Habermas have alsosubstantively speaking -had little to say about women and gender or indeed feminism but this, of course, has not stopped feminists deploying, rethinking and critically developing the theoretical resources offered by these theorists to produce some of the most influential, compelling and productive forms of contemporary feminist theorizing (see eg Butler, 1993;Fraser, 1997). In this volume contributors will use, critique, critically extend and develop Bourdieu's social theory to address some of the most pressing issues of our times. And in so doing they will address both ongoing and key contemporary problematics in contemporary feminist theory. These include the problematic of theorizing social agency (and especially the problematic of social versus performative agency); the issue of the relationship of social movements (and especially women's movements) to social change; the politics of cultural authorization; the theorization of technological forms of embodiment (that is the theorization of embodiment post bounded conceptions of the body); the relations of affect to the political; and the articulation of principles of what might be termed a new feminist materialism which goes beyond Bourdieu's own social logics.In critically extending Bourdieu's social theory to illuminate contemporary socio-cultural issues, the contributors in this volume therefore attest to the powerful tools that Bourdieu's social theory may offer contemporary feminist theory, tools which are increasingly recognized by feminists working across both the humanities and social science disciplines (
This article focuses on the new economy. While a number of recent analyses have considered how new economic arrangements rework a range of material relations, this article suggests that such considerations have tended to stop short of considering how material relations may be reconstituting vis-à-vis the people who are working in the new economy. This is so, it will be argued, because there is a pervasive assumption of what is termed a social contract model of personhood, where people are assumed to own or at least to strive to accumulate skills, capacities and abilities (that is, labour power) as forms of property in the person. However, what this article underscores is that the relations between people and their labour in the new economy are being reworked. In particular, it highlights how qualities previously associated with people are being disentangled and are becoming the object of processes of qualification and re-qualification. However, such qualities do not take the form of property in the person as claims towards the ‘ownership’ of this labour lie in the domain of audience effects - that is, in relations external to the person. This shift, it is argued further, locates labour in the new economy firmly in the domain of the production and circulation of cultural value. Indeed, more broadly this article suggests that the now commonplace idea that economy and culture are de-differentiating involves a previously unrecognized restructuring of the relations between people and property and even the end of the modern notion of personhood.
What becomes of class when residential property prices in major cities around the world accrue more income in a year than the average wage worker? This paper investigates the dynamic of combined wage disinflation and asset price inflation as a key to understanding the growth of inequality in recent decades. Taking the city of Sydney, Australia, as exemplary of a dynamic that has unfolded across the Anglo-American economies, it explains how residential property was constructed as a financial asset and how government policies helped to generate the phenomenal house price inflation and unequal capital gains of recent years. Proceeding in close conversation with Thomas Piketty's work on inequality and recent sociological contributions to the question of class, we argue that employment and wage-based taxonomies of class are no longer adequate for understanding a process of stratification in which capital gains, capital income and intergenerational transfers are preeminent. We conclude the paper by outlining a new asset-based class taxonomy which we intend to specify further in subsequent work.
Prior to the recent global crisis a consensus was emerging that post-Fordism had ushered in a new sexual contract, one characterized not by exclusion and containment, but by the prospecting for potential, a prospecting that located women’s labor not as a reserve for capital but as a site of vitality and possibility. The global financial crisis and ongoing recession, however, have been positioned as undoing these radical transformations in women’s labor by threatening a return of the social formations characteristic of Fordism. Yet in this essay I suggest that to understand the ongoing recession as producing such a return is to thoroughly misapprehend value production in post-Fordism and, in particular, to bracket the process of the folding of the economy into society. To illustrate this process, I focus on unemployment, specifically the eventful productiveness of unemployment in recessionary post-Fordism. Confronting this eventful productiveness necessitates not only a recognition of a material reworking of unemployment in post-Fordism, but also undoes the idea that the ongoing recession is linked to a return to the social formations of Fordism. This essay therefore posits that unemployment is a crucial site for the theorization of post-Fordist labor, including the ongoing, radical reworking of the potentialities of female labor.
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