Thanks to the rise of neoliberalism over the past several decades, we live in an era of rampant anxiety, insecurity, and inequality. While neoliberalism has become somewhat of an academic buzzword in recent years, this book offers a rich and multilayered introduction to what is arguably the most pressing issue of our times. Engaging with prominent scholarship in media and cultural studies, as well as geography, sociology, economic history, and political theory, author Julie Wilson pushes against easy understandings of neoliberalism as market fundamentalism, rampant consumerism, and/or hyper-individualism. Instead, Wilson invites readers to interrogate neoliberalism in true cultural studies fashion, at once as history, theory, practice, policy, culture, identity, politics, and lived experience. Indeed, the book’s primary aim is to introduce neoliberalism in all of its social complexity, so that readers can see how neoliberalism shapes their own lives, as well as our political horizons, and thereby start to imagine and build alternative worlds.
Check out my interview on The Majority Report with Sam Seder here.
Mothering through Precarity
In Mothering through Precarity Emily Chivers Yochim and Julie A. Wilson explore how working- and middle-class mothers negotiate the difficulties of twenty-first-century mothering through their everyday engagement with digital media. From Facebook and Pinterest to couponing, health, and parenting websites, the women Wilson and Yochim study rely upon online resources and communities for material and emotional support. Feeling responsible for their family’s economic security, these women often become “mamapreneurs,” running side businesses out of their homes. They also feel the need to provide for their family’s happiness, making successful mothering dependent upon economic and emotional labor. Questioning these standards of motherhood, Wilson and Yochim demonstrate that mothers’ work is inseparable from digital media as it provides them the means for sustaining their families through such difficulties as health scares, underfunded schools, a weakening social safety net, and job losses.