Capital, Class & Technology in Contemporary American Culture

Capital, Class & Technology in Contemporary American Culture : Projecting Post-Fordism

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In the tradition of Mike Davis and Fredric Jameson, Nick Heffernan engages in a series of meditations on capital, class and technology in contemporary America. He turns to the stories we generate and tell ourselves - via fiction, film journalism, theory - to see how change is registered. By investigating a variety of texts, he observes how structural change affects the way people organise their lives economically, socially and culturally. Case studies include Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, William Gibson's cyberspace trilogy, Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, and Wim Wenders's Until the End of the World. Using the links between narrative cultural forms and the process of historical understanding, he brings together debates that have so far been conducted largely within the separate domains of political economy, social theory and cultural criticism to provide a compelling analysis of contemporary cultural change. By relocating postmodernism in the context of changing modes of capitalism, Heffernan puts the question of class and class agency back at the centre of the critical agenda.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 150 x 226 x 20mm | 458.13g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745311040
  • 9780745311043

About Nick Heffernan

Nick Heffernan teaches American Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University College Northampton.
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Review quote

"Heffernan explores the ways in which narratives generated through literary fiction, film, journalism, and social and cultural theory register and represent contemporary social and cultural shape. He draws on and impressive breadth of texts. This compelling and thought-provoking book is highly recommended for graduate students and above with interests in postmodernism and contemporary cultural, class, and technology studies." -- CHOICE"In a stimulating read about the relationship bewtween cultural forms and social, economic, and political change in postwar America, the author uses a range of cultural texts--film, literature, reportage--to illuminate the processes and modes through which crises and changes are registered."--Book Notes
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Table of contents

Introduction Part 1. Late Capitalism, Fordism, Post-Fordism 1. Postmodernism and Late Capitalism 2. Class and Consensus, Ideology and Technology Part 2. Putting 'IT' to Work: Post-Fordism, Information Technology and the Eclipse of Production 3. Making 'IT': The Soul of a New Machine 4. Faking 'IT': True Stories 5. Playing with 'IT': Microserfs Part 3. Impotence and Omnipotence: The Cybernetic Discourse of Capitalism 6. Cybernetics, Systems Theory and the End of Ideology 7. Imaginary Resolutions: William Gibson's Cyberspace Trilogy 8. Artificial Intelligence and Class Consciousness: Blade Runner Part 4. Capital, Class, Cosmopolitanism 9. Fordism, Post-Fordism and the Production of World Space 10. National Allegory and the Romance of Uneven Development: The Names 11. Blindness and Insight in the Global System: Until the End of the World Conclusion: Questioning Fordism and Post-Fordism Notes Bibliography
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