SCA2014: The Private Life of Neoliberal Capital

To express interest in this panel, please use the comments feature on this page and/or contact Hemangini Gupta: hgupta3 [at] emory [dot] edu.

The Private Life of Neoliberal Capital

I’m proposing a panel on the productive effects of a new regime of neoliberal labor that blurs distinctions between ‘public’ labor and ‘private’ life, to think about the increased scope of the ‘ends’ of work.

What are the ends - or limits - of work within neoliberal entrepreneurial economies? Scholars argue that there are in fact no ends of work within current forms of waged labor, as workers are increasingly expected to embody labor, and workplace subjectivities seep into domestic and intimate spaces. With no ‘end’ of work, all realms of life become saturated with work, blurring distinctions between ‘public’ and ‘private’ life. This panel will explore the productive effects of this blurring. What are the implications of new neoliberal regimes of work which offer porous boundaries between ‘work’ and ‘home’/ ‘public’ and ‘private’?

For instance, in my paper I will suggest that fluid forms of contemporary capital weave between work and home to assist middle class projects. Based on fieldwork in Bangalore’s “start up” economy, I will argue that biopolitical modes of work - and working – serve to garner the requisite social and cultural resources needed to transfer work skills, values and habitus to the private domain, assisting the crafting a middle class self.