Neoliberalism and the New Anthropology of the Economy
Ortiz, Horacio (2018), Neoliberalism and the New Anthropology of the Economy, Swiss Graduate Program in Anthropology, Ueberstorf, SWITZERLAND
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference titleSwiss Graduate Program in Anthropology
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Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Sciences Sociales [IRISSO]
Abstract (EN)In recent years, anthropologists have moved away from studying the economy and markets as naturally occurring settings to studying the underlying processes that turn all manner of arenas into fields configured by economic rationales and motives. Such processes have been coined "economization," "financialization," "commodification" or, more generally, the outcome of the "neoliberal turn." In these contributions, concepts such as "value," "utility" and "efficiency" are critically discussed, showing that many of them are merely constructs and often serve to maintain existing power structures. In this module, we wish to address these processes of "economization" and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the use of the concepts mentioned above for identifying and analyzing them. We aim to move away from an economic anthropology that implicitly or explicitly naturalizes economic action and its underlying philosophy to a broader anthropology of the economy that takes into account the performative, political and ideological foundations of processes of economization. We invite students to contribute empirical examples in which the discourse and practices of neoliberalism are shaping the ways interlocutors think, speak, and organize themselves. These contributions need not touch directly on the study of the economy or markets, but can come from any field that is impacted by the modes of thought our current economistic climate encourages.
Subjects / KeywordsAnthropology of economy
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