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While the term “bohemian” has fallen out of favor, the desire to explore alternative lifestyles that challenge mainstream social expectations remains. Focusing mainly on the Beat Generation writers but including a broad range of other bohemian groups both past and present, this chapter explores the reasons for bohemia’s demise, makes an honest assessment of its shortcomings, and attempts to redeem what is worthwhile from the concept. Despite its paradoxes and problems, there are good reasons to retain a bohemian ideal that brings the contradictions in everyday life into sharper focus, even if the future of bohemia might not be urban. At its best, the bohemian desire to live a fuller life outside society’s margins functions as a utopian gesture that challenges our media-obsessed culture with a focus on the personal and inner-directed. In such a world, bohemia is as difficult to enact as it is necessary for those who want to define life and its possibilities for themselves.
In this chapter, I argue that the formation of intellectual property was enabled by a cultural transformation, involving the embrace of natural legality, a transformation that parallels, in significant respects, the Christianization of imperial Rome. In this cultural transformation, traditions of Roman law were rediscovered as a naturalistic foundation for sociability and national economic life. The commodification of human creativity and inventive discovery, through intellectual property rights, made sense, within the culture of natural legality, as a justified response to natural, but extraordinary, powers of human creativity, and became part of a broader strategy for national empowerment. The combination of Roman law with interpretations of Christian obligation that emphasized natural sociability and legality gave new form to a natural rights tradition, one that providing legitimating foundations for the recognition of intellectual property under principles of English common law. The chapter concludes with a focus on the U.S. constitutional convention of 1787, and the embrace of intellectual property as part of the constitutional framework for a powerful, national state.
Katherine Adams’s “‘This Is Especially Our Crop’: Blackness, Value, and the Reconstruction of Cotton” thinks deeply about that historical record’s ties to materiality, labor, and “worth.” Adams focuses on writing that promoted cotton as a site for Black economic self-determination – specifically on how writers negotiated the double bind of racial capitalism, simultaneously countering predictions that freedpeople could not become economic producers without white coercion and resisting the reduction of Black personhood to economic value. Analyzing texts from Martin Delany, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and diverse other authors for the Black periodical press, Adams shows how African American writers and thinkers complicated the putative opposition between capitalist and human value by laying claim to both, appropriating the logic of cotton capitalism in order to inscribe Black personhood within its aporia.
The mythology of the Market is strongly evident, indicated by the corporate camouflage of existential desire by the wide range of constructed desires. This mythology has materialised in the personalisation of the idea of the corporation. Its functioning is revealed by the commodification of individuals within models of regulatory capitalism and by the structural embedding of debt as credit. These trends have been promoted by the digitisation of corporate function, by algorithmic profiling of individuals as consumers and by the exploitation of Big Data. This has morphed into surveillance capitalism. The non-mythological way forward would start with focusing on all shareholders, including all citizens on whom the corporation impacts. This is the reimagining of corporations on purpose-based, fiduciary principles. This in turn would require the redrafting of competition and consumer protection law, as well as shifting the control of personal data to the individual. It would also require changes to employee relations strategies.
Property and markets are not fully intertwined. Although one cannot think about the idea of a market without thinking about property – property, after all, is one of the market’s foundational building blocks – it is possible to think about property without thinking about markets. Still, liberal property and markets are so deeply connected that a liberal theory of property cannot ignore the market. A liberal theory of property must explain how property can remain loyal to its liberal commitments in the context of large-scale economies heavily reliant on the operation of markets.
Chapter 1 considers the use of castration as a means of turning the body into a money-making instrument. Castration for the purposes of creating castrato singers was a relatively rare but culturally prominent means of changing the body. The procedure created a body with unique erotic and commercial capital, which was bound up with the rise of commercialised forms of literature. The instrumental nature of castrato bodies promoted a vision of embodiment in which the body appeared as an object that could be exploited, whether for monetary gain or sexual pleasure. Hostility towards castrati arose because such men were felt to violate not only the categories of male/non-male, but those of master/servant; castrati worked for a living, but were perceived to have power over those whom they entertained. Even accounts of the sexual potency of castrati were, I argue, opportunities to objectify these anomalous bodies. The subjective experience of the castrato emerges only rarely: first, in narratives of castrato marriages, and second, in operatic roles which embrace the castrato’s sexual liminality.
In this article, we aim to focus on how the Iberian past (sixth century to the first century BC) has been used both to shape identities and to produce values in the marketplace and how the triad of the past, authenticity, and tradition is key in the commodification of the Iberian world. To do so, we will examine developments in the village of Moixent (Valencia, Spain). In this town, the Iberians and their archaeological remains are presented as the protagonists of the area, accompanied by several “heritage stratifications.” Through case studies of family-run wineries, we analyze the process of symbolic appropriation of the Iberians in the local wine sector and its confluence with cultural tourism as well as how it has led to the development of territorial branding based on the past.
In this article, I explore how neoliberal economic discourses and techniques have profoundly influenced the way that music education in early childhood has developed in recent years in the UK. I focus on two dominant models of practice that have been shaped by market thinking; the private music session (the ‘branded product’) and short term, stand-alone projects funded by charitable organisations (the ‘funded project’). The prevalence of these two models has resulted in highly fragmented and unequal provision accompanied by narrow conceptions of music in early childhood that give rise to impoverished practice. While I base my discussion on the early childhood sector in the UK, this discussion can nevertheless warn music educators beyond this one sector and one location of the negative consequences of abandoning music education to market forces.
In this chapter, I consider the double danger of objectifying plants and of treating them as subjects, modeled on the dominant, metaphysical model of subjectivity. I argue that the unconscious danger lurking in the shadows of granting subjectivity to plants, animals, and entire ecosystems is not just that global capitalism may cunningly coopt challenges to anthropocentrism but that the newfangled status of other-than-human lives may actually be the next logical step in the extension of immaterial, subjective, cognitively mediated commodities. The enlargement of the subjective sphere is conducive to the growth not of plants but of capital. Instead of these alternatives, I advocate a view of existence from the intermediary space-time of the inbetween.
This chapter examines the global political economy of access to drinking water, with particular attention to the implications for environmental and social justice. After reviewing theoretical approaches to the privatization and commodification of drinking water, the chapter examines the institutional and ideological drivers, dynamics, and effects of the enclosure of municipal (tap) water supplies, and the substantial countermovements it has generated, drawing on case studies from both the global South and the North. The chapter briefly reviews the present status of municipal water privatization, and then turns to another major modality of water commodification: bottled water. It explores the dramatic growth of this relatively new commodity, its environmental and social externalities, and the grassroots movements opposing water extraction by the global bottled water industry in specific localities. These countermovements have proven partially successful at reversing, slowing, or preventing privatization, and in posing obstacles to the further commodification of water through bottling. The concluding section discusses the linkages between these various modes of water commodification, and the implications for ensuring the human right to water.
This chapter examines the role of magical realism in the literary marketplace with regard to questions of aestheticism, commodification, escapism and exoticism. It draws on literary texts (Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under and Ali Shaw’s The Girl with Glass Feet) together with their paratexts (such as websites, author comments and interviews, publicity material and reviews) and argues that the appeal of magical realism as a commercial label must also be taken into account when we speak about the cultural work performed by this mode. This is not in order to evaluate and judge specific texts in comparison with others, but because readers and their predilections, and the appeal of what is often called 'fabulist narration' in the description of magical realist books, decisively influence the effect of magical realist literature.
This article reviews the recommodification of social policy in the context of financialised austerity capitalism and post-crisis welfare states. It sets out an understanding of recommodification as a multiple set of processes that involve the state in labour market-making, by shaping labour’s ‘saleability’. Under conditions of finance-dominated austerity capitalism, the article argues that recent dynamics of recommodification complicate the long established Piersonian observations. For Pierson, recommodification signifies how elements of the welfare state that shelter individuals from market pressures are dismantled and replaced with measures which buffer their labour market participation. This article examines ways in which recent policy trends in recommodification, whether by incentivising or coercive means, increase exposure to labour market risks and connect with the growing inequalities between capital and labour under post-crisis re/financialised austerity capitalism. This analysis is paired with a synoptic review of recent labour market trends and reforms across the European Union. As recommodification evolves, the insecurity it institutes raises fundamental questions about the underlying nature of social citizenship which are also addressed.
In “Still Famous after All These Years: Ernest Hemingway in the Twenty-First Century,” Loren Glass offers a humorous overview of the way that Hemingway’s name has been franchised and flogged over the past two decades to sell an innumerable amount of products. He notes lawsuits that caused restaurants to change their name from Hemingway’s to Hemmingway’s to capitalize upon the writer’s appeal and catalogues the various tourist stops, from Ketchum Idaho to Key West Florida and Havana Cuba, that cash in on Hemingway’s fame. For Glass, commercial exploitation is no different than the scholarly commodification of the writer that has accelerated with the opening of various archives and museums over the past twenty years, as well as the Hemingway Letters Project, which ensures his pluripresence in American popular culture. Glass also notes how suicide and the struggles of fame have become a consistent narrative, leading to celebrity becoming a metatextual phenomenon in which people become famous for dramatizing their struggles with fame.
This chapter considers the intersection of Gothic and Orientalism in the long eighteenth century from the joint perspective of its origins and ideological relevance. Having traced the influence on Gothic of literary materials imported from the East, it examines the terrifying effects of commercial and imperial concerns in works such as William Beckford’s Vathek, Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya, Matthew Gregory Lewis’s ‘The Anaconda’, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Charles Robert Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer. The relevance of this commercial and imperial imaginary for figurations of subjectivity, the body and sexuality is then explored with reference to George Colman’s Blue-Beard, Robert Southey’s The Curse of Kehama, Byron’s ‘Turkish Tales’, Walter Scott’s ‘The Surgeon’s Daughter’ and the anonymous novel The Lustful Turk. Through its double focus, the chapter argues that, if the East is a foundational feature in early Gothic, the troubling power of Orientalist Gothic depends on distance and alienness, though also, and more perturbingly, on the proximity and contact promoted by an expanding commercial and territorial imperialism.
This is a review essay of Markets without Limits by Jason Brennan and Peter M. Jaworski and of The Invisible Hand? by Bas van Bavel. From different perspectives, both books focus on the moral or practical limits to markets in modern society. While both works make major contributions, there are theoretical flaws. Brennan and Jarworski powerfully countered some criticisms of commodification. But they downplayed the possibility that the transition from gift to contract or market exchange may raise moral issues that are additional to those intrinsic to the goods or services being traded. Van Bavel investigated cycles of growth, inequality and decline in several market economies over the last 1,500 years. But his argument is built on a confusion between finance and capital goods. Nevertheless, much that is positive remains in both books after their flaws are corrected.
This chapter considers the origins of "new colonialism" across the Hemispheric Americas, with attention especially to relations across seas, including the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.
In this chapter, we review how economists and linguists have problematized the relationship between economy and language, focusing on their methodologies, theoretical toolboxes, and ideologies. One of the striking differences lies in the ways they conceptualize languages, viz., as strictly denotational for economists but both denotational and indexical for linguists. We show that by approaching them as abstract, asocial, ahistorical, and statistically measurable entities, economists treat languages as resources whose economic consequences for individuals or societies can simply be derived from their intrinsic nature. By contrast, examining languages as practices grounded in their sociohistorical ecologies, linguists have been more interested in the valuation of some languages as capitals that can outweigh others economically or symbolically. Overall, we highlight the interdisciplinary nature of “economy and language” as a research area, showing how complex it is and how productive it should be to build an intellectual bridge between the two disciplines.
Linguistics has had a significant and evident impact on economics, and vice versa. However, this mutually beneficial relationship has so far remained under-exploited. This rich volume brings together an international range of scholars, to bridge the gap between these two distinct but increasingly interrelated disciplines. It covers areas such as the role of economic factors in the maintenance or loss of languages, the relationship between speakers' language choices and economic practices, the relevance of economic development to the spread of modern communication technology, and the role of language in economic development. It represents a critical call to arms for researchers and students in both fields to engage in better informed ways with the work of the other. By sharing both linguistic and economic ideas, the editors and the other contributors foster a clear dialogue between the two disciplines, which will inform the rapidly emerging field of 'language economics'.
The collapse of the Japanese empire unleashed in the streets of Seoul new everyday epistemologies and affects closely tied to evolving relationships across media. This article analyzes how reportage, photography, and literature in post-liberation and post-Korean War South Korea synergistically addressed pressing postcolonial and neocolonial questions, the weight of which could be felt in the realm of daily life: What does liberation look like in the marketplace? How should we make sense of the foreign military presence in Seoul after the Korean War? What are the effects of foreign consumer goods on the minds and bodies of the people and the nation's sovereignty? The article shows how South Korean cultural actors responded to the increasing commodification of everyday life by bringing critical attention to the uneasy relationship between the body, foreign commodity-signs, and artifacts of mass visuality. These intermedial accounts succeeded in linking the granular experiences of everyday life to larger historical and geopolitical forces and making visible how the encroachment of mass media products and commodity-signs were transforming the very means by which the everyday could be represented.
This chapter assumes the owner’s perspective regarding the decision to rent out intimate, privately used possessions, which the chapter names “intimate property”. It first critically analyzes the special legal treatment of intimate property as securing attachment and stability. The home is a central example. The chapter then goes on to describe modern challenges to this legal vision, including the tension between the home and the workplace and the rise of domestic work and home businesses. The access economy further complicates this vision. Airbnb, an online tourist marketplace that allows owners to share their homes for a fee, commercializes and destabilizes the meaning of co-living relationships in the home. The home becomes a site for fleeting, temporal interactions with tourists. Stable, intimate relations become intertwined with the commercial and the casual. The access economy thus creates a new conception of intimate property, functioning as a hybrid. It supports emerging personal markets, where intimacy shapes market practices and market practices shape the parties’ understandings of intimacy. This chapter explains the complexity of this fragmented vision, fleshes out the tension between stability and openness, and discusses the possible legal implications for legal regulation and antidiscrimination laws.