What kind of thing is ‘neoliberalism’? This collection of essays explores a range of answers to this question, arguing that neoliberalism is a complex, but specifiable and analysable phenomenon and examining the different ways it is manifested in contemporary culture.
Free chapter: the free chapter from Neoliberal Culture is ‘Meritocracy as Plutocracy: The Marketising of ‘Equality’ Under Neoliberalism’, an essay by Jo Littler, and is available to download below.
Based on a previous issue of New Formations, in this book contributors argue that possible ways to understand neoliberalism include viewing it as: a discursive formation, an ideology, a governmental programme, a hegemonic project, an assemblage of ideas, techniques and technologies, and what Deleuze and Guattari call an ‘abstract machine’.
Following an introductory essay by Jeremy Gilbert which contextualises the meaning and significance of neoliberalism, the collection considers the genesis, persistence and polyvalency of the concept across a range of cultural sites and discursive genres from political philosophy to pornography, from economics to photographic technology. Chapters examine the intersection of neoliberal ideology and political practice with experiences of race, gender, sexuality and class; with grand politics, technical innovation and hard economics.
This book is essential reading for anyone interesting in the contemporary cultural climate, and the impact of the pervasive concept of neoliberalism on society in the present.
What kind of thing is ‘neoliberalism’? - Jeremy Gilbert
1. ‘… We got to get over before we go under …’ Fragments for a history of black vernacular neoliberalism - Paul Gilroy
2. Foucault’s ‘critique’ of neoliberalism, Rawls and the genealogy of public reason - Paul Patton
3. Meritocracy as plutocracy: the marketising of ‘equality’ under neoliberalism - Jo Littler
4. Thought bubble: neoliberalism and the politics of knowledge - Neal Curtis
5. Capitalist realism and neoliberal hegemony: a dialogue - Mark Fisher and Jeremy Gilbert
6. Beyond the entrepreneurial voyeur? Sex, porn and cultural politics - Stephen Maddison
7. Feminism, the family and the new ‘mediated’ maternalism - Angela McRobbie
8. Complexity as capture - neoliberalism and the loop of drive - Jodi Dean
9. Neoliberal Britain’s austerity foodscape: home economics, veg patch capitalism and culinary temporality - Lucy Potter and Claire Westall
10. ‘Hit your educable public right in the supermarket where they live’: risk and failure in the work of William Gaddis - Nicky Marsh
11. ATMs, tele-prompters and photo-booths: a short history of neoliberal optics - Mark Hayward
‘This is the one of the very best explorations of neo-liberalism, and unique in that it approaches neoliberalism through its cultural articulations and implications. Em-bracing the complexity of neoliberalism and the diversity of efforts to comprehend it, the essays in the volume construct a rich vision of the ways neoliberalism is embodied, lived and resisted across the full range of cultural life. Anyone interested in neoliberalism should put this at the top of their reading list.’
Professor Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
“Neoliberal Culture provides a much-needed breadth of critique that takes our understanding of the neoliberalism beyond any tendency to cling on to a workerist model of explanation.”
- Mark Perryman, Philosophy Football
“… the virtue of this book lies in its scope and in the well-grounded nature of its studies. Paul Gilroy’s examination of the ways in which the aspirational discourses of black entrepreneurship work to capture the imagination is characteristically rich in concrete examples which refer back to religious traditions, transatlantic experiences, musical genres and notions of masculinity. […] The value of this collection lies in the attention it pays to concrete manifestations of neoliberalism.”
- Nick Wright, Culture Matters
‘A reliable measure of any book as ambitiously titled as Neoliberal Culture is how much it can tell us about our present predicament. As it happens, Jeremy Gilbert’s edited collection tells us quite a lot. […] Nicky Marsh, Paul Patton, Stephen Maddison, Jodi Dean, Mark Hayward, Lucy Potter and Claire Westhall bring literature, philosophy, pornography, psychoanalysis, ‘optics’ and food culture to bear on the discussion in enriching and illuminating ways. Indeed, among the book’s strengths is that it has something to offer to anyone intrigued by the relations between ‘neoliberalism’ and its symbolic and affective articulations, or its tenacity in the face of systemic collapse, or even the resurgence of cultural formations like white nationalism that on the surface would seem at odds with it.’
- Liane Tanguay, Key Words journal