From the Publisher:
In the context of the global economic crisis, world capitalism today may be on the verge of another restructuring. Neoliberalism?the dominant approach to government around the world since the 1980s?may be coming to an end, but its effect on social and political life will long be felt. Based on the premise that markets are more efficient than lawmakers and regulators at responding to popular demands, neoliberal reforms were pushed by powerful national and transnational organizations as conditions of lending and trade. Governments turned to the private sector for what were formerly state functions. But when citizens were refashioned as consumers, there were also unintended social consequences.
Ethnographies of Neoliberalism collects original ethnographic case studies of the effects of neoliberal reform on the conditions of social participation, such as new understandings of gender roles, the commodification of learning, a growth in satirical protest against corporate power, and the restructuring of local political institutions. Carol J. Greenhouse has brought together scholars in anthropology, communications, education, English, music, political science, religion, and sociology to focus on the emergent conditions of political agency under neoliberal regimes. This is the first volume to address the implications of neoliberal reform on people's self-understandings as social and political actors. The essayists consider both the positive and negative unintended results of neoliberal reform, and the theoretical contradictions within neoliberalism, illuminated by circumstances on the ground in Africa, Europe, South America, Japan, Russia, and the United States. With an emphasis on the value of ethnographic research in understanding neoliberalism's effects around the world in our own times, Ethnographies of Neoliberalism uncovers how even in more prosperous times people realize for themselves the limits of the market, and act accordingly.