review

Class action or class struggle?

Starring Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, The Internship was presumably intended as the Hollywood blockbuster of Summer 2013. The movie portrays a couple of interns who arrive at the corporation in the hope of securing a job in the creative industries. While their experiences are arguably somewhat less traumatic than those the hapless intern protagonist of The Devil Wears Prada has to endure in a similar scenario, the two are nevertheless forced to compete with an army of other prospective employees (i.e.

The limits of employability

At a time when in the UK the government is undertaking a fundamental reform of social security, this book should be made compulsory reading by everyone involved in designing and delivering welfare payments systems, from Ministers to frontline staff. The book explores the dynamics of the lives of people who ‘churn’ between low-pay jobs and social welfare.

Does it ever stop kicking off everywhere?

Introduction

Paul Mason’s book is an attempt to explore and understand the global domino of uprisings around the world in 2009-2011. Why it’s kicking off everywhere brings together some of the many localities of the world that gained global attention from the media and filled people with hope for another, better future. Protests, demonstrations, and revolutions in Egypt, Greece, Britain, and the US are closely followed by Mason who, as a virtuoso reporter, communicates vividly both the feeling of those moments and the stories of the people:

What work has made us become

Last summer, The New York Times ran a front-page story on the latest craze in corporate team building: juice cleansing. ‘It was a week when we were slammed, and we just needed to pull together as a community’, explains an employee who recently embarked on the three-day-long, liquid-only diet. The cleanse, which entails replacing your typical three meals a day with vital ‘living food’ juices, promises the salutary effects of prolonged energy, heightened alertness, and increased productivity.

The spectre of anarchism

David Eden’s Autonomy: Capitalism, class and politics is the first book-length general study of autonomist Marxism, or what he calls ‘the perspective of autonomy’ (11). A large and detailed analysis, Eden’s book covers the work of three sub-traditions within autonomist thought, which he organizes geographically (across Italy, the US and the UK). He begins by discussing the ideas of Paolo Virno and Antonio Negri, before moving onto the authors grouped within the Midnight Notes Collective (MNC) and finishing with an appraisal of the work of John Holloway.

Theorizing debt for social change

David Graeber’s 2011 book, Debt: The first 5000 years, has received a great deal of attention in academic, activist, and popular media venues (see Hann, 2012; Kear, 2011; Luban, 2012; Meaney, 2011).* Graeber himself has been credited as instigator and theorist of the Occupy movement (Meaney, 2011); and one of the central goals of Graeber’s book – a crossover book intended for a broad readership – is clearly to support detachment from the sense of moral obligation too many people feel to p

'Of luck and leverage'

Of all the uses to which the work of Slavoj Žižek has been put in recent years, Ole Bjerg’s new book on poker and its relationship to capitalism is, to my mind, one of the most interesting and productive. While Žižek is familiar fare in film and new media studies, literature and cultural studies, Bjerg brings Žižek’s (1991) re-reading of Lacan’s concepts of the real, the symbolic and the imaginary to the analysis of a simple game which, as players know, turns out to be exceedingly rich and complex.

Consumption and its contradictions: Dialogues on the causes of buying

Daniel Miller is Professor in Material Culture at the Department of Anthropology, University of Central London. Since the mid-1980s he has been a central figure in discussions and debates around consumption.

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