Capital, Class and Technology in Contemporary American by Nick Heffernan

By Nick Heffernan

Postmodernism and postmodernity became keywords by which modern cultural swap is theorized. during this unique and stimulating research, Nick Heffernan demonstrates that the postmodern isn't just a cultural subject: it bears at the differences wrought by way of and inside modern capitalism itself. to invite the postmodern query, in accordance with Heffernan, is unavoidably to inquire into the character of Western capitalist societies as they've got constructed within the moment 1/2 the 20 th century, and within the procedure to interact in a chain of advanced meditations on capital, type, and expertise.

In a stimulating examining of the connection among cultural different types of social, monetary, and political swap in postwar the United States, Heffernan makes use of more than a few cultural texts--film, literature, reportage--to remove darkness from the approaches and modes wherein challenge and social, fiscal, and cultural alterations are registered. utilizing the hyperlinks among narrative cultural varieties and the method of historic realizing, he brings jointly debates that experience to date been performed principally in the separate domain names of political economic system, social conception, and cultural feedback to supply a compelling research of latest cultural swap. by means of moving postmodernism within the context of fixing modes of capitalism, Heffernan places the query of sophistication and sophistication organisation again on the middle of the serious time table.

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And again, of the process of building the new machine – finally to be called Eagle – Kidder observes that ‘control seemed to be nowhere and everywhere at once’ (Soul: p. 159). This conception of power and authority being reconfigured, or dispersed, into ‘maze-like’ or ‘decentred’ patterns is characteristic of many influential postmodern positions or descriptions of postmodernity. Once again we are referred to the connections between new technologies and systemic social and cultural change. In particular, Mark Poster’s claim that IT brings with it new patterns of ‘institutional routine’, social relations and subjectivity or selfhood is worth exploring here.

Chandler, William H. Whyte, and David Riesman (Chandler, 1962; Whyte, 1960; Riesman, 1961). For it appears that Data General functions to a large extent as a constellation of relatively autonomous, dehierarchised work groups in the manner suggested by Michel Aglietta and quoted earlier. The Eclipse Group’s informality of dress and manners, the absence of titles and hierarchical distinctions, the eccentric and individually determined hours and habits of work, and the apparently complete control over design and production enjoyed by its members could not be more at odds with the bureaucratic, grey-flannel world of William H.

8 per cent of the labour force, illustrating what Mike Davis calls the ‘hypertrophy of occupational positions in the United States associated with the supervision of labour, the organisation of capital, and the implementation of the sales effort’ (Davis, 1986: p. 213). And by 1980 it was possible to observe the peculiar demographic composition of this burgeoning class, which was dominated by 25–35-year-old members of the postwar baby-boom generation. This suggests the remarkable rate at which the children of blue-collar families had been recruited into the expanding professional strata, apparently confirming Daniel Bell’s 1956 prediction of the comprehensive embourgeoisement of the working class (Pfeil, 1990: p.

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