Concepts of Capital: The Commodification of Social Life (Hardback)
  • Concepts of Capital: The Commodification of Social Life (Hardback)
zoom

Concepts of Capital: The Commodification of Social Life (Hardback)

(editor)
£83.99
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 28/02/2014
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 1 week

  • This item has been added to your basket

Borrowing terminology from the economic discipline-specifically the concept of "capital"-has led to an abundance of new terms in the social sciences: human capital, social capital, and cultural capital, to name the most prominent representatives on an ever-growing list. In this interdisciplinary transaction, the concept is borrowed and the original meaning extended until the new concepts often have nothing left in common with their initial referents.

Here Jacek Tittenbrun offers a critical analysis of human, social, and cultural capital on the basis of their uses and misuses across a wide range of social sciences, simultaneously revealing the source of conceptual diffusion in the real world. He presents a two-pronged analysis of an intellectual fashion popular in the social sciences and offers a critical analysis of a range of concepts constructed around the common core of "capital." The analysis is innovative, as it is underpinned by a theoretical framework rooted in economic sociology and the concept of ownership in particular. The approach is one of the sociology of knowledge coupled with a substantive critique-application of the given concepts.

The volume reveals a range of processes in the real world that account for the conceptual diffusion. The general reader will be drawn to the discussion in the second half of the book, a study of a variety of relatable real life situations that illuminate privatization and commodification in our lives.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
ISBN: 9781412853026
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"The author's argument that the concepts of human capital, social capital, and cultural capital have come to bear too much conceptual weight is a reasonable one and deserves wide attention. . . . Tittenbrun clearly reads widely in both economics and sociology."

--J. Li, Choice


"This is a tour de force. Professor Tittenbrun has produced a scholarly and stimulating book that brings together conceptions of capital, commodification, and privatization in a unique way. This makes a significant contribution to critical literature in economics and sociology."

--Jane Hardy, professor, University of Hertfordshire

..". Jacek Tittenbrun examines the gullible acceptance of economic dogma in the social sciences. 'Why is it, ' he asks, 'that our academic colleagues who call themselves economists, sociologists, or social psychologists are building fortresses on shifting sands of such concepts as social, cultural, or human capital?' What he does is remarkable: first, he demonstrates clearly that the concept of social, cultural, or human capital does not hold water, even if it is defended by a Nobel prize winner. Second, he examines these flawed concepts from the point of the Marxian and Simmelian analysis of the commodification of interactions. Third, he demonstrates venues of contemporary expansion of the capitalist markets. Fourth, he shows the consequences. We can believe that we are not tools, but somebody has to pay for the accumulation of financial capital--and this somebody's dispossession is mediated by a variety of 'enclosures.' Readers of Tittenbrun will have second thoughts before defining shopping malls as public spaces and gated communities as paradises of true happiness. My guess is that the concepts of social, cultural, and human capital will go down the drain as did the concepts of ether or phlogiston. I also think that the rational choice theory and the over-individualized, undersocialized theories of interacting and communicating in market societies will decline, because they have nothing to tell us either about us or about the social world around us. Recycling Marx makes sense, so does reinventing democracy. After all, even Harvard professors begin to suspect that not everything is for sale."

--Slawomir Magala, professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam

"The values which serve as the basis for management and economy are being expanded to all spheres and dimensions of contemporary life. Everything is for sale and shaped according to pre-established images of success. But this is nothing new. There are many books about capital and capitalism, from the most different theoretical perspectives. The strongest merit of this work is its power to function as a tool capable of making us question ourselves about the things we naturalize and take for granted. This book deconstructs the [socio-economic] consensus. It denaturalizes the ideas we accept without reflecting, even the academic discourses, concepts, words, and theories we use as if they were natural and that may lead us to act exactly as we, at least in theory, criticize. This book is mandatory reading for those who do not consider it enough to be critical just by adopting a theoretical perspective, but want to reflect about their ways of thinking, being, and feeling."

--Igor Valentim, professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


"The author's argument that the concepts of human capital, social capital, and cultural capital have come to bear too much conceptual weight is a reasonable one and deserves wide attention. . . . Tittenbrun clearly reads widely in both economics and sociology."

--J. Li, Choice


"This is a tour de force. Professor Tittenbrun has produced a scholarly and stimulating book that brings together conceptions of capital, commodification, and privatization in a unique way. This makes a significant contribution to critical literature in economics and sociology."

--Jane Hardy, professor, University of Hertfordshire

..". Jacek Tittenbrun examines the gullible acceptance of economic dogma in the social sciences. 'Why is it, ' he asks, 'that our academic colleagues who call themselves economists, sociologists, or social psychologists are building fortresses on shifting sands of such concepts as social, cultural, or human capital?' What he does is remarkable: first, he demonstrates clearly that the concept of social, cultural, or human capital does not hold water, even if it is defended by a Nobel prize winner. Second, he examines these flawed concepts from the point of the Marxian and Simmelian analysis of the commodification of interactions. Third, he demonstrates venues of contemporary expansion of the capitalist markets. Fourth, he shows the consequences. We can believe that we are not tools, but somebody has to pay for the accumulation of financial capital--and this somebody's dispossession is mediated by a variety of 'enclosures.' Readers of Tittenbrun will have second thoughts before defining shopping malls as public spaces and gated communities as paradises of true happiness. My guess is that the concepts of social, cultural, and human capital will go down the drain as did the concepts of ether or phlogiston. I also think that the rational choice theory and the over-individualized, undersocialized theories of interacting and communicating in market societies will decline, because they have nothing to tell us either about us or about the social world around us. Recycling Marx makes sense, so does reinventing democracy. After all, even Harvard professors begin to suspect that not everything is for sale."

--Slawomir Magala, professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam

"The values which serve as the basis for management and economy are being expanded to all spheres and dimensions of contemporary life. Everything is for sale and shaped according to pre-established images of success. But this is nothing new. There are many books about capital and capitalism, from the most different theoretical perspectives. The strongest merit of this work is its power to function as a tool capable of making us question ourselves about the things we naturalize and take for granted. This book deconstructs the [socio-economic] consensus. It denaturalizes the ideas we accept without reflecting, even the academic discourses, concepts, words, and theories we use as if they were natural and that may lead us to act exactly as we, at least in theory, criticize. This book is mandatory reading for those who do not consider it enough to be critical just by adopting a theoretical perspective, but want to reflect about their ways of thinking, being, and feeling."

--Igor Valentim, professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


-The author's argument that the concepts of human capital, social capital, and cultural capital have come to bear too much conceptual weight is a reasonable one and deserves wide attention. . . . Tittenbrun clearly reads widely in both economics and sociology.-

--J. Li, Choice


-This is a tour de force. Professor Tittenbrun has produced a scholarly and stimulating book that brings together conceptions of capital, commodification, and privatization in a unique way. This makes a significant contribution to critical literature in economics and sociology.-

--Jane Hardy, professor, University of Hertfordshire

-... Jacek Tittenbrun examines the gullible acceptance of economic dogma in the social sciences. 'Why is it, ' he asks, 'that our academic colleagues who call themselves economists, sociologists, or social psychologists are building fortresses on shifting sands of such concepts as social, cultural, or human capital?' What he does is remarkable: first, he demonstrates clearly that the concept of social, cultural, or human capital does not hold water, even if it is defended by a Nobel prize winner. Second, he examines these flawed concepts from the point of the Marxian and Simmelian analysis of the commodification of interactions. Third, he demonstrates venues of contemporary expansion of the capitalist markets. Fourth, he shows the consequences. We can believe that we are not tools, but somebody has to pay for the accumulation of financial capital--and this somebody's dispossession is mediated by a variety of 'enclosures.' Readers of Tittenbrun will have second thoughts before defining shopping malls as public spaces and gated communities as paradises of true happiness. My guess is that the concepts of social, cultural, and human capital will go down the drain as did the concepts of ether or phlogiston. I also think that the rational choice theory and the over-individualized, undersocialized theories of interacting and communicating in market societies will decline, because they have nothing to tell us either about us or about the social world around us. Recycling Marx makes sense, so does reinventing democracy. After all, even Harvard professors begin to suspect that not everything is for sale.-

--Slawomir Magala, professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam

-The values which serve as the basis for management and economy are being expanded to all spheres and dimensions of contemporary life. Everything is for sale and shaped according to pre-established images of success. But this is nothing new. There are many books about capital and capitalism, from the most different theoretical perspectives. The strongest merit of this work is its power to function as a tool capable of making us question ourselves about the things we naturalize and take for granted. This book deconstructs the [socio-economic] consensus. It denaturalizes the ideas we accept without reflecting, even the academic discourses, concepts, words, and theories we use as if they were natural and that may lead us to act exactly as we, at least in theory, criticize. This book is mandatory reading for those who do not consider it enough to be critical just by adopting a theoretical perspective, but want to reflect about their ways of thinking, being, and feeling.-

--Igor Valentim, professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

You may also be interested in...

AQA A Level Sociology: Book 2
Added to basket
A Dictionary of Sociology
Added to basket
The Craftsman
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
OCR Sociology for A Level Book 1
Added to basket
On Suicide
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Eroticism
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Development as Freedom
Added to basket
The Book of Tea
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
Criminology
Added to basket
£39.99
Paperback
The Art of Conversation
Added to basket
What Sport Tells Us About Life
Added to basket
Sociology for AQA Volume 1
Added to basket
The Sociology Book
Added to basket
DK
£17.99
Hardback
Sex and Punishment
Added to basket
Mortality
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.