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The New Spirit of Capitalism

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Why is the critique of capitalism so ineffective today? In this major work, the sociologists Eve Chiapello and Luc Boltanski suggest that we should be addressing the crisis of anticapitalist critique by exploring its very roots.

Via an unprecedented analysis of management texts which influenced the thinking of employers and contributed to reorganization of companies over t
Paperback, 601 pages
Published September 17th 2007 by Verso (first published 1999)
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Every so often I find myself reading something that I regret having put off for so long, and this is one of those cases. It is a vital contribution to the sociology of work, to social and cultural analyses of the 'contemporary condition', and to understandings of the current social order and contemporary politics: a big claim, I admit. Boltanski and Chiapello have not set out to explore the material characteristics of contemporary capitalism – the organisation and concentration of increasingly g ...more
Mirza  Sultan-Galiev
Ever stood under blinding florescent lights stocking shelves or any other such drudgery while
thinking of how much fun, you an "independent team member" are having in your "flexible, fast paced workplace"?
Peter Mcloughlin
Very dense. The argument is that Capitalism has shifted since the 1970s from a paternalistic bureaucratic operation that characterized the post-war era. To a more individualistic but exploitive mode with a great deal of freedom for workers but little security. This security vs. freedom tradeoff seems to be the conundrum of the two modes of capitalism between the postwar era and the more recent era. The book was very theoretical with little concrete to ground the analysis. It would have been easi ...more
Khisraw Amini
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology
As the authors mention in the book that the critique of capitalism needs to account for the facts of the transforming world of work, in order to keep up with the displacements of capitalism and develop its critique, this book is an ambitious endeavor to develop a systematic account for understanding capitalism in its entirety and history. What we have seen of the critical tradition on capitalism have been often reactionary fleeting remarks on the certain aspects of the current economic arrangeme ...more
Peter Harrison
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology
This is a classic modern work of sociology, which sets out to unpick the relationship between society, politics, and the mechanisms of the economy.

The key concept presented by the authors is that in order to survive capitalism needs to be accompanied by both a "spirit" and a "critique".

The "spirit" is a positive expression used to inspire commitment to the continuation of capitalism. Passive non-resistance is not enough, the system needs active commitment from both workers, managers, and leaders
Elfie Mc
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty much hits the nail on the head in terms of modern work ethics/patterns/general morality through a combination of empirical cases, exploring the political, social and emotional impacts. Essential reading for anyone who has ever felt disillusioned by the current work mentality.
great work, but i don't like the translation... i wish they had kept their terminology consistent with their other articles and presentations in english
Tara Rahimi
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy read, great theory. blew my mind.
Jesper Balslev
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociologi
En skandale at den her bog ikke er oversat til dansk. Meget præcis og overbevisende analyse af projekt- og netværkssamfundets opståen, kritikkens rolle i kapitalismen, legitimeringsmekanismer etc.... Grand theory, fyldt med frugtbare forslag til hvordan en lang række af vores nye problemer kan adresseres, forstås, løses...
I've read the prologue and this looks amazing albeit enormous. I will try, and perhaps fail, but learn a lot in whatever I get through.
Joseph Jeon
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many pages too long, but great.
Recommended by Kevin via Sascha
Matthew Summers
May 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Who gives a shit about this.
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Boltanski 1 6 Oct 10, 2007 07:02AM  
  • Empire of Capital
  • The Long Twentieth Century
  • The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space
  • The New Prophets of Capital
  • The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition
  • The Philosophy of Money
  • Critique of Everyday Life
  • The Urban Experience
  • Pascalian Meditations
  • Uneven Development
  • The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century
  • The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy Of American Empire
  • The New Industrial State
  • Banal Nationalism
  • The Civilizing Process
  • Anarchy!
  • The Mass Strike
  • On Collective Memory
Boltanski is regarded as one of the most influential French sociologists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
He was born on the 4th of January 1940 in Paris as a child of polnish Jews. His brother is the artist Christian Boltanski.
He studied social sciences at La Sorbonne in Paris and published his dissertation in 1969. Then, he worked as professional academic in various organi