Putting the inalienable to work: Labour and life in contemporary capitalism

A reviewer’s job is made much easier when one of the editors identifies precisely what is valuable about the collection in her introduction. Describing one of the contributions to The post-Fordist sexual contract, Lisa Adkins writes that the author ‘resists turning to an unnuanced account of the movement of capital into all areas of life’ [14]. Instead, the chapter author uses the collapse of boundaries between work and life to generate a study of ‘both old and new labour, home and work, production and consumption’ [14].

Affective capitalism: Investments and investigations


Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make. (Trump, 1987: 58)

New spirit of critique?

du Gay and Morgan’s edited collection, comprising of thirteen chapters, focuses on the seminal and similarly titled The new spirit of capitalism (TSC), co-authored by Boltanski and Chiapello, originally published in France in 1999, and later translated into English in 2005. Boltanski and Chiapello argued that from the mid-1970s onwards, capitalism began to reorganize and abandoned hierarchical Fordist structures that epitomised earlier periods of production, in favour of network-based forms of organizing within the workplace.

Theory of the multitude

The breeze blowing from Seattle and Genova broke the immovable air of the desert that, like a television screen, was suffocating sense of life. It gave a voice to the life that was lying underneath: muttering, groaning and complaining, but also living, working and producing new forms of life which before these events seemed unattainable. The voice was that of a new kind of subjectivity, the multitude. As a word multitude is both old and young. It was cast out in the dawn of modernity but it never ceased to haunt its political and economic organization.

No future

The Productive Centrality of the University in the Age of Cognitive Capitalism

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