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Accepted Paper:

Corruption, class formation and the anthropology of neoliberalism  
Sabina Stan (Dublin City University)

Paper long abstract:

Recent anthropological work dealing with corruption has oscillated between essentialising and radically deconstructing perspectives on the phenomenon. Corruption was thus seen as either a consequence of specific organisational cultures or a phenomenon which first and foremost is narratively constructed. This paper argues that the symbolic and discursive aspects of corruption cannot nevertheless be untangled from either practices or the power relations in which its agents are embedded. In particular, given corruption's resonance with both practices and the credo of contemporary entrepreneurial capitalism, we need to interrogate its contribution to current processes of class formation. A particular attention will be thus given to the manner in which corruption is enmeshed in the "class projects" of the new ascending classes engendered by current neo-liberal transformations. The paper will take as examples cases exposed in the book on "Corruption" edited by Haller and Shore, as well as those documented during fieldwork on informal practices in the Romanian health sector.

Panel IW001
Class, crisis and anthropology: the place of class in understanding the discipline and the world
  Session 1