The Culture of the New Capitalism
The distinguished sociologist Richard Sennett surveys major differences between earlier forms of industrial capitalism and the more global, more febrile, ever more mutable version of capitalism that is taking its place. He shows how these changes affect everyday life--how the work ethic is changing; how new beliefs about merit and talent displace old values of craftsmanship and achievement; how what Sennett calls "the specter of uselessness" haunts professionals as well as manual workers; how the boundary between consumption and politics is dissolving.In recent years, reformers of both private and public institutions have preached that flexible, global corporations provide a model of freedom for individuals, unlike the experience of fixed and static bureaucracies Max Weber once called an "iron cage." Sennett argues that, in banishing old ills, the new-economy model has created new social and emotional traumas. Only a certain kind of human being can prosper in unstable, fragmentary institutions: the culture of the new capitalism demands an ideal self oriented to the short term, focused on potential ability rather than accomplishment, willing to discount or abandon past experience. In a concluding section, Sennett examines a more durable form of self hood, and what practical initiatives could counter the pernicious effects of "reform."
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advertising American anxiety army automation become believe branding Britain bureaucracy bureaucratic pyramid century consultants consuming passion consumption corporate cracy craft craftsmanship culture cutting-edge economy elite employees ence experience firms flexible organization focused Georgina Born global global South gold-plating heavals human ideal imagination immigrants individuals inequality informal trust insti institutions interviewed investors iPod iron cage kind labor long-term loyalty machines matter Max Weber ment meritocracy Michel Foucault military modern narrative nomic one's person platform politicians Port Huron Statement possess potency potential ability practice problem production realm reform ressentiment RICHARD SENNETT Robert Reich search for talent self-consuming passion sense shift short-term skills social capital sociologist specter of uselessness stitutional structure sumer things thinking tion tive Vance Packard Wal-Mart wealth Weber welfare workers young
Page 200 - Robert H. Wiebe, The search for order (New York: Hill and Wang, 1967), chaps. 2, 7; Samuel P. Hays, The response to industrialism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), chap. 3; Richard L. McCormick, "The party period and public policy," Journal of American History, 66 (September 1979), pp.
Page 200 - George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism [Open Society Endangered] (London: Little, Brown and Co. UK. 1998). While Mr. Soros is interested in defending what, following Karl Popper, he calls an "open society," his analysis of the conflict of global capitalism with democracy since the 1970s (esp.
Page 9 - A stereotype holds that Americans are aggressive competitors in business. Beneath this stereotype lies a different, more passive mentality. Americans of the middling sort I've interviewed in the past decade have tended to accept structural change with resignation, as though the loss of security at work and in schools run like businesses are inevitable: you can do little about such basic shifts, even if they hurt you.