This panel will explore how neoliberalism's economic and cultural dimensions intersect in various domains of everyday life, teasing out the lived implications of the contradictory demands for risk-taking and responsibility, as well the prospects for contestation.
In Debt to Society: Accounting for Life Under Capitalism Miranda Joseph follows the lead of Lisa Duggan to depict neoliberalism as a diffuse cultural project, the key terms of which - privatization and personal responsibility - play out in the most ordinary domains of life, mundane arenas that we are increasingly impelled to inhabit as entrepreneurial subjects, even if we do so in the mode of failure. Likewise, Philip Mirowski argues in Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste that we will not get to grips with how neoliberalism has survived its evident failure as an economic program unless we address the extent to which its sensibilities now constitute "the unremarkable furniture of waking life," a way of being that he describes as "everyday neoliberalism." This panel will explore the intersection of neoliberalism's economic and cultural dimensions in various domains of everyday life - domains that are increasingly difficult to disentangle, as life more and more becomes an arena for neoliberalism's contradictory demands of risk taking and responsibility. Among others, these include universities and (other) workplaces, home life, volunteerism, and recreation. Papers might offer (auto-)ethnographic accounts of everyday life in the aftermath of what is commonly called the global financial crisis and/or address, among other topics: the social, cultural, economic and policy architecture of lived neoliberalism and its gaps or cracks; the paradoxes of attachment to the corporatized university; and prospects for contestation.