Retrospective Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: American Ethnological Society
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Inequality
Secondary Theme: Class
Anthropologists have challenged the dominant critiques of American capitalism in several ways: by putting them in a cosmopolitan framework that encompasses the dynamics of capitalism as a global system; by pointing to the heterogeneous and fragmented nature of capitalism, its non-unitary nature; and, its imbrication in racial, sexual, gendered, and ethnic hierarchies. In recent years, anthropologists have also focused on the circulation of representations (and critiques) of neoliberalism, underlining the importance of processes of legitimation and the role of media in shaping the “common-sense” of the population. Over the past two decades, in a series of important books and articles (New Jersey Dreaming, Not Hollywood), Sherry Ortner has done a great deal to advance our understanding of neoliberalism in the U.S. The participants in this panel, who work in many different global settings such as Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, India, and the U.S., are all engaged in advancing our understanding of neoliberalism. In thinking through the diverse problems with which they are dealing, the papers on this panel engage in a productive dialogue with the legacy of the work of Ortner.