Governing the Social in Neoliberal Times
328 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 May 2020
Release Date:01 Nov 2019
Release Date:01 Nov 2019
Release Date:01 Nov 2019

Governing the Social in Neoliberal Times

UBC Press

Neoliberalism is most commonly associated with free trade, the minimal state, and competitive individualism. But in this latest stage of capitalism, it is not simply national economies that are being neoliberalized – it is us. Inspired by Michel Foucault and other governmentality theorists, the contributors to this volume reveal how neoliberalism’s power to redefine “normal” is refashioning every facet of our lives. Part 1 focuses on how neoliberalism has transformed how we think about our own achievements and how we understand others, a shift that has profound implications for what it means to be queer, an immigrant, illiterate, disabled, or Indigenous in the twentieth-first century. Part 2 explores how neoliberalism is influencing our ethical reasoning when it comes to our consumer choices and how we approach the environment, whether it be buying yoga pants or a hybrid car. Part 3 widens the lens to examine how a climate of fear and uncertainty is feeding our willingness to surrender our rights and freedoms when facing larger questions of national security and border control. By providing enlightening examples and case studies of neoliberalism in action, this thought-provoking volume not only reveals how we are being constituted as biopolitical and neoliberal subjects, it encourages us to think of the world as more than a marketplace and to open ourselves up to the possibilities of resistance.

Accessible and based on case studies that everyone can relate to, this book will appeal to students, scholars, and general readers interested in sociology, law, political science, and the impact of neoliberalism on our everyday lives.

Governing the Social in Neoliberal Times offers an accessible introduction to the literature on neoliberalism, and applies this through a series of original case studies. This book is both engaging and thought-provoking. I highly recommend it. Wendy Larner, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Deborah R. Brock is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at York University. She is the author of Making Work, Making Trouble: The Social Regulation of Sexual Labour, the editor of Making Normal: Social Regulation in Canada, and the co-editor of Power and Everyday Practices and Criminalization, Representation and Regulation: Thinking Differently about Crime.

Contributors: Tannis Atkinson, Bianca Baggiarini, Philip J. Boyle, Xiaobei Chen, Rosemary J. Coombe, Mark D. Doerkson, Kelly Fritsch, Daniel Huizenga, Christine Lavrence, Suzanne Lenon, Kristin Lozanski, Azar Masoumi, David Moffette, Marcia Oliver, Nicole Van Lier

Introduction / Deborah R. Brock

Part 1: Governing Subjects, Communities, and Cultures

1 Governing Lives Worth Living: The Neoliberal Biopolitics of Disability / Kelly Fritsch

2 The Governmentality of Gay Rights: Queer Love in Neoliberal Times / Suzanne Lenon

3 Governing Cultures, Making Multicultural Subjects / Xiaobei Chen

4 Aboriginal Community Research: Government and Neoliberal Self-Determination / Daniel Huizenga and Rosemary J. Coombe

Part 2: Governing Responsibility

5 Calculating Normative Literacy, Constituting Human Capital / Tannis Atkinson

6 “Engines of Change?” Hybrid Cars, Hybrid Rationalities, and Neoliberal Environmentalism / Nicole Van Lier

7 The lululemon Manifesto: Dance, Sing, Floss, and Self-Govern / Kristin Lozanski and Christine Lavrence

8 Being Reasonable: Risk, Fear, and Specialized Peace Bonds / Mark D. Doerkson

Part 3: Governing (In)Security

9 Governing Uncertainty: Resilience and the Biopolitics of Security / Philip J. Boyle and Marcia Oliver

10 Governing through Sacrifice: Militarization, Commemoration, and Canadian Identity / Bianca Baggiarini

11 Regulating Immigrants and Managing Populations: Probationary Status and Conditionality / David Moffette

12 “Come Out and Be Free!”: Coming Out and the (International) Government of Sexualities / Azar Masoumi



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