Marxist Sociology Blog: Theory, research, politics2023-12-08T10:30:41-05:00

Questions of Caste and Racial Capitalism

It is still the case, centuries after the onset of orientalizing tropes became codified in the formal “study of India,” that caste is still treated as a cultural and therefore not a material, historical, or economic phenomenon. I have not myself undertaken a quantitative assessment of this, but it would be interesting to classify dissertations that take caste and casteism as a central subject matter and divide them into culturalist or materialist studies and see how many of each there are. Culturalist accounts depend explicitly or implicitly on caste being treated as ideological bias, rooted in Hinduism, tradition, and irrational stereotypes about purity and pollution that exclude entire populations from access to basic social goods necessary for living and thriving. That exclusion being premised on culture, can only be solved by liberal projects of inclusion rather than material re-allocation of resources like land or money power.

When I wrote “Where Does Caste Fit in a Global History of Racial Capitalism?” my main goal was not only to wholly sideline that culturalist approach but also, to do so in a way that didn’t regurgitate liberal marxist orthodoxies, as I have written about elsewhere, and yet […]

By |Apr 19, 2024|Categories: Blog article, News & Announcements|Comments Off on Questions of Caste and Racial Capitalism

Provincializing Asian regional food regimes

A recent study led by Kuan-Chi Wang found that the legacy of imperialism gave rise to diverse agricultural trajectories in Asia, with countries embracing varying models of development. Some embraced capitalist-driven “green revolutions,” while others pursued socialist-inspired approaches to agricultural modernization. These divergent paths reflected each nation's unique historical context and ideological leanings, contributing to the complexity of contemporary food regimes in the region. Adding another layer to this rich complexity, agricultural experts and institutions emerged as key actors in disseminating knowledge and shaping farming practices. Their efforts not only influenced technological advancements but also shaped the institutional frameworks that govern food production and distribution in Asia today.

By |Mar 27, 2024|Categories: Blog article, Research|Comments Off on Provincializing Asian regional food regimes

ECLAC and the problematization of Latin America’s development

Latin America is usually recognized as the most unequal region in the world. It seems clear that the region faces important obstacles to development. But how do we understand the challenges to Latin America’s development? In a recent article, Emilia Ormaechea analyzes the changes in the idea of development in the contributions of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) from its creation, in 1948, to the present day. She argues that ECLAC had a very critical understanding of the challenges that a development strategy for Latin America entailed, especially during the structuralist period. However, this critical perspective lost relevance in 1990, after the neoliberal offensive and the shift from structuralism to neostructuralism.

By |Mar 16, 2024|Categories: Blog article, Theory|Comments Off on ECLAC and the problematization of Latin America’s development

“Right-to-Work” Laws Really Work…Just Not the Way You Think They Do

A narrow focus on "treatment effects" has led much academic research to ignore the broader institutional work that "right-to-work" laws accomplish – changing the balance of power between political parties, allowing for new policy bundles to be enacted, and changing the perceived realm of the reasonable and possible for new labor market entrants.

By |Mar 8, 2024|Categories: Blog article, News & Announcements|Comments Off on “Right-to-Work” Laws Really Work…Just Not the Way You Think They Do

Understanding a New Age of Algorithmic Capital

As a critical theory of algorithmic capitalism, our contribution is grounded in an emancipation project. We explore paths of reform, revolution, and exit strategies from algorithmic capitalism. We develop a virtue ethics approach to favor collective resistance and emancipation from algorithmic capitalism.

By , |Feb 29, 2024|Categories: Blog article, New book, Theory|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Understanding a New Age of Algorithmic Capital
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