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The New Spirit of Capitalism By Luc Boltanski

The New Spirit of Capitalism by Luc Boltanski

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New edition of this major work examining the development of neoliberalism

The New Spirit of Capitalism Summary

The New Spirit of Capitalism by Luc Boltanski

In this major work, sociologists Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello go to the heart of the changes in contemporary capitalism. Via an unprecedented analysis of the latest management texts that have formed the thinking of employers in their reorganization of business, the authors trace the contours of a new spirit of capitalism. They argue that from the middle of the 1970s onwards, capitalism abandoned the hierarchical Fordist work structure and developed a new networkbased form of organization that was founded on employee initiative and autonomy in the workplace-a "freedom" that came at the cost of material and psychological security. The authors connect this new spirit with the children of the libertarian and romantic currents of the late 1960s (as epitomised by dressed-down, cool capitalists such as Bill Gates and "Ben and Jerry") arguing that they practice a more successful and subtle-form of exploitation. Now a classic work charting the sociological structure of neoliberalism, Boltanski and Chiapello show how the new spirit triumphed thanks to a remarkable recuperation of the left's critique of the alienation of everyday life that simultaneously undermined their "social critique." In this new edition, the two author reflect on the reception of the book and the debates it has stimulated.

The New Spirit of Capitalism Reviews

"A wide-ranging, nuanced sociological inquiry into the nature of contemporary work."--Choice "[A] vast and ambitious work, which is inscribed in a great tradition of theoretical and critical sociology."--Le Monde "This magnificent book [is] the sociology of a whole generation which capitalism caught on the wrong foot. In more than 800 pages which one devours like a great novel, the book furnishes new weapons for the renewal of the Left."--Liberation "This book will no doubt come to be regarded as a contemporary classic of political economy and political sociology."--Political Studies Review "Ambitious and fascinating."--Le Nouvel Observateur

About Luc Boltanski

Luc Boltanski teaches sociology at the EHESS, Paris. He is the author of numerous books, including On Critique: A Sociology of Emancipation. Eve Chiapello is an associate professor at the HEC School of Management, Paris.

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The New Spirit of Capitalism by Luc Boltanski
Verso Books
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