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Max Planck Studies in Anthropology and Economy
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Work, Society and the Ethical Self
Chimeras of Freedom in the Neoliberal Era
Edited by Chris Hann
Afterword by Gerd Spittler
334 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-225-4 $135.00/£100.00 Hb Not Yet Published (September 2021)
eISBN 978-1-80073-226-1 eBook Not Yet Published
“This is an extremely important contribution to the anthropology of work. Unlike most existing approaches which focus on ‘labor’ as exploitation and alienation processes, the chapters in this collection explore the multiple valuations of work and the ambivalence often present in them.” • Susana Narotzky, Universitat de Barcelona
Primarily on the basis of ethnographic case-studies from around the world, this volume links investigations of work to questions of personal and professional identity and social relations. In the era of digitalized neoliberalism, particular attention is paid to notions of freedom, both collective (in social relations) and individual (in subjective experiences). These cannot be investigated separately. Rather than economy with ethics (or the profitable with the good), the authors uncover complex entanglements between the drudgery and exploitation experienced by most people in the course of making a living and ideals of emancipated personhood.
Chris Hann is a Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale) and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Prior to moving to Germany, he was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Kent (Canterbury). Recent publications include Repatriating Polanyi: Market Society in the Visegrád States (Central European University Press, 2019) and The Great Dispossession. Uyghurs between Civilizations (LIT Verlag, 2020, with Ildikó Bellér-Hann).