Today, work and consumption are notably blurred. Consumption matters are found to make inroads into the realm of work, while consumption gains traction in the domain of production. This special issue of ephemera gets to the heart of this phenomenon. Covering a range of themes – genetic testing, self-quantification, migration, popular media and modern workplaces – the contributions to this issue call attention to the ethico-politics of productive and consumptive aspects of contemporary life.
Issue Editors: Tero Karppi, Anu Laukkanen, Mona Mannevuo, Mari Pajala, Tanja Sihvonen
This special issue aims at describing and understanding the regime of ‘affective capitalism’. In cultural theory, affect is a useful concept for analysing how something stimulates our body and mind. Affect makes us act, exceeding or preceding rationality. In our daily lives we are constantly affected by a plethora of things: our work, our friends, our surroundings, our technologies (Gregg and Seigworth, 2010). Unsurprisingly, perhaps, we are seeing attempts to capture affect in different fields of contemporary culture, from labour to social networks to politics. In these contexts, affect and affection are extensively organized, produced and maintained for the needs of capitalism. Affective capitalism is lucrative, tempting and even devious. The notion of affect dovetails with operations of power (Kenny, Muhr and Olaison, 2011). It merges with established therapeutic discourses and blurs the limits of intimacy at work... more