The New Spirit of Capitalism

The New Spirit of Capitalism


By (author) Luc Boltanski, By (author) Ève Chiapello

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  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Format: Paperback | 656 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 240mm x 48mm | 762g
  • Publication date: 30 September 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1844671658
  • ISBN 13: 9781844671656
  • Sales rank: 73,582

Product description

In this major work, sociologists Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello go to the heart of the changes in contemporary business culture. Via an unprecedented analysis of the latest management texts that have formed the thinking of employers in their reorganization of business, the authors trace the contours of a new spirit of capitalism. They argue that from the middle of the 1970s onwards, capitalism abandoned the hierarchical Fordist work structure and developed a new network-based form of organization that was founded on employee initiative and autonomy in the workplace - a 'freedom' that came at the cost of material and psychological security. The authors connect this new spirit with the children of the libertarian and romantic currents of the late 1960s (as epitomised by dressed-down, cool capitalists such as Bill Gates and 'Ben and Jerry') arguing that they practice a more successful and subtle form of exploitation. In a work that is already a classic in Europe, Boltanski and Chiapello show how the new spirit triumphed thanks to a remarkable recuperation of the left's critique of the alienation of everyday life that simultaneously undermined their 'social critique'.

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Author information

Luc Boltanski teaches sociology at the EHESS, Paris and is the author of The Making of Class. Eve Chiapello teaches at the HEC School of Management, Paris and is the author of Artistes versus Managers.

Review quote

"A vast and ambitious work, which is inscribed in a great tradition of theoretical and critical sociology." - Le Monde "This magnificent book [is] the sociology of a whole generation which capitalism caught on the wrong foot... The book furnishes new weapons for the renewal of the Left." - Liberation "Extremely well-written and well-argued...(A) major contribution to the literature in the field..." - Times Higher Education Supplement"