The Return of Ordinary Capitalism: Neoliberalism, Precarity, Occupy

Paperback | September 15, 2015

bySanford F. Schram

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As Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward argued in the early seventies, in a capitalist economy, social welfare policies alternatingly serve political and economic ends as circumstances dictate. In moments of political stability, governments emphasize a capitalistic work ethic (even if itmeans working a job that will leave one impoverished); when times are less politically stable, states liberalize welfare policies to recreate the conditions for political acquiescence. Sanford Schram argues in this new book that each shift produces its own path dependency even as it represents yetanother iteration of what he (somewhat ironically) calls "ordinary capitalism," where the changes in market logic inevitably produce changes in the structure of the state. In today's ordinary capitalism, neoliberalism is the prevailing political-economic logic that has contributed significantly to unprecedented levels of inequality in an already unequal society. As the new normal, neoliberalism has marketization of the state as a core feature, heightening the role ofeconomic actors, especially financiers, in shaping public policy. The results include increased economic precarity among the general population, giving rise to dramatic political responses on both the Left and the Right (Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party in particular). Schram examinesneoliberalism's constraints on politics as well as social and economic policy and gives special attention to the role protest politics plays in keeping alive the possibilities for ordinary people to exercise political agency. The Return of Ordinary Capitalism concludes with political strategies forworking through - rather than around - neoliberalism via a radical, rather than status-quo-reinforcing, incrementalism.

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As Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward argued in the early seventies, in a capitalist economy, social welfare policies alternatingly serve political and economic ends as circumstances dictate. In moments of political stability, governments emphasize a capitalistic work ethic (even if itmeans working a job that will leave one impoveri...

Sanford F. Schram is Professor of Political Science and Faculty Associate at Roosevelt House Institute of Public Policy, Hunter College, CUNY.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 0.91 inPublished:September 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190253029

ISBN - 13:9780190253028

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The Return of Ordinary Capitalism: Neoliberalism as the New Normal2. Middle-Class Melancholia: Self-Sufficiency after the Demise of Christianized Capitalism (U.S. Style)3. Occupy Precarity: Resisting the Limits of Collective Agency under Neoliberalism4. The Deep Semiotic Structure of Deservingness: Discourse and Identity in Neoliberal Welfare Policy5. The End of Social Work: Implementing a Neoliberal Paternalism (with Basha Silverman)6. Schooling the Corporatized Citizen/Corporatizing the School: From Grade School through College7. The Next Neoliberal Thing: Social Impact Bonds8. Getting Beyond Neoliberalism: The Road to Radical IncrementalismNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Schram's volume is a beam of light by one of today's most incisive theorists of neoliberalism and struggles of resistance and transformation. Whether he is discussing changes in social welfare policy, education, the Occupy movement, or his proposal for radical incrementalism, his writingtakes us on journeys that are invigorating, insightful, and indispensable." --Rom Coles, Social Justice Institute, Australian Catholic University, author of Visionary Pragmatism: Radical and Ecological Democracy