Knowing Capitalism

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SAGE, Feb 16, 2005 - Social Science - 256 pages
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`This is an ambitious, original, and complex treatment of key aspects of contemporary capitalism. It makes a major contribution because it profoundly destabilizes the scholarship on globalization, the so-called new economy, information technology, distinct contemporary business cultures and practices' - Saskia Sassen, author of Globalization and its Discontents

`Nigel Thrift offers us the sort of cultural analysis of global capitalism that has long been needed - one that emphasizes the innovative energy of global capitalism. The book avoids stale denouncements and offers instead a view of capitalism as a form of practice' - Karin Knorr Cetina, Professor of Sociology, University of Konstanz, Germany

Capitalism is well known for producing a form of existence where `everything solid melts into air'. But what happens when capitalism develops theories about itself? Are we moving into a condition in which capitalism can be said to possess a brain?

These questions are pursued in this sparkling and thought-provoking book. Thrift looks at what he calls "the cultural circuit of capitalism," the mechanism for generating new theories of capitalism. The book traces the rise of this circuit back to the 1960s when a series of institutions locked together to interrogate capitalism, to the present day, when these institutions are moving out to the Pacific basin and beyond. What have these theories produced? How have they been implicated in the speculative bubbles that characterized the late twentieth century? What part have they played in developing our understanding of human relations?

Building on an inter-disciplinary approach which embraces the core social sciences, Thrift outlines an exciting new theory for understanding capitalism. His book is of interest to readers in Geography, Social Theory, Antrhopology and Cultural Economics.

 

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Contents

Adventures of Capitalism
1
The Cultural Circuit of Capitalism
20
The Place of Complexity
51
Virtual Capitalism The Globalization of Reflexive Business Knowledge
75
Cultures On the Brink Reengineering the Soul of Capitalism on a Global Scale
93
Part 2 The New Economy
112
Performing Cultures in the New Economy
130
The Automatic Production of Space
153
Closer to the Machine? Intelligent Environments New Forms of Possession and the Rise of the Supertoy
182
Electric Animals New Models of Everyday Life?
197
Remembering the Technological Unconscious by Foregrounding Knowledges of Position
212
Bibliography
227
Index
251
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The Culture of Design
Guy Julier
Limited preview - 2007
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About the author (2005)

Nigel Thrift is Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Bristol. He has co-edited and co-authored numerous books; most recently Writing the Rural: Five Cultural Geographies and Globalisation, Institutions and Regional Development in Europe. Thrift has three co-edited or co-authored books in press The City of London and Social Power in Modern Britain; Diffusing Geography: Essays for Peter Hagget; and Mapping the Subject.

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