Marx and the Dynamic of the Capital Formation: An Aesthetics of Political Economy

Hardcover | May 15, 2010

byBeverley Best

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A close examination of Marx’s dialectical method of analysis, this studies uses the lens of current debates in cultural studies, political economy, and critical sociology. It seeks to reanimate Marx’s theoretical reconstruction of the capitalist formation from the point of view of recent and emerging social dynamics within advanced consumer economies. The book consists of two parts: part one reconstructs the defining movement of Marx’s analytical approach as a function of abstraction. It demonstrates how Marx’s method articulates a specific theory and practice of representation—one of the several dimensions through which it expresses an “aesthetic sensibility”; part two opens up to a broader analysis of the continuing pertinence of Marx's method in the analysis of contemporary global capitalism wherein cultural production takes centre stage.

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A close examination of Marx’s dialectical method of analysis, this studies uses the lens of current debates in cultural studies, political economy, and critical sociology. It seeks to reanimate Marx’s theoretical reconstruction of the capitalist formation from the point of view of recent and emerging social dynamics within advanced con...

Beverley Best is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Concordia University, Montréal.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:252 pages, 8.28 × 5.78 × 0.76 inPublished:May 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230102395

ISBN - 13:9780230102392

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Table of Contents

Marx’s Critique of Abstraction * Capitalism’s Process of Self-Mystification * Marx’s Theoretical Process I:  Abstraction and Representation * Marx’s Theoretical Process II:  Historicizing the Dialectic * Mediation as Allegory:  Reading Political Economy Through the Artwork of Geoffrey Farmer * The Aesthetics of Political Economy * Mapping the Collective Subject 

Editorial Reviews

“Best’s approach to rethinking a Marxian dialectical method comes at an extraordinarily appropriate time, one in which, as has so often been said, late capitalism has become an image society and in which aesthetics has in uniquely new historical ways been assimilated into economics. Any Marxism that claims to address the issues and problems of the renewed capitalist and globalized system of today’s world must necessarily take some such path as this, which Beverley Best has so productively pioneered.”—Fredric Jameson, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, Duke University“With her beautifully constructed and critically imaginative thesis, Beverley Best enhances our understanding of several key problems in critical theory: how to ‘read’ Marx, today; how to read aesthetics politically, and political economy as aesthetics; what to do with ‘cognitive mapping’; and how to deal in a lucid way as academics with an economy of obsolescence in ideas. This book is major contribution to the ethics of criticism as well as to the renewal of aesthetics and the study of Marx’s method.”— Meaghan Morris, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney, and Chair Professor, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong“This is a remarkable book on a topic on which there has been a lot of recent interest: the relevance of Marx and particularly of his method of analysis to the most pressing problems of our time. The author has an excellent grasp of Marx’s own writings and of the most important literature dealing with this aspect of his work. The book is a fascinating short course on the history of recent (and not so recent) debates on the history of Marx’s dialectical method.”—Bertell Ollman, Department of Politics, NYU, and author of Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx’s Method