Towards a Cultural Political Economy
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Towards a Cultural Political Economy

Putting Culture in its Place in Political Economy

Ngai-Ling Sum and Bob Jessop

This fascinating volume offers a critique of recent institutional and cultural turns in heterodox economics and political economy. Using seven case studies as examples, the authors explore how research on sense- and meaning-making can deepen critical studies in political economy, illuminating its role in critiquing the specific categories, contradictions and crisis-tendencies of capitalism.
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Chapter 4: Between Scylla and Charybdis: locating cultural political economy

Putting Culture in its Place in Political Economy

Ngai-Ling Sum and Bob Jessop


This chapter synthesizes arguments from earlier chapters to provide the theoretical foundations for the first three of the six features of CPE listed in the Introduction. The full set is: (1) the grounding of the cultural turn in political economy in the existential necessity of complexity reduction; (2) an emphasis on the role of evolutionary mechanisms in shaping the movement from social construal to social construction and their implications for the production of hegemony; (3) its concern with the interdependence and co-evolution of the semiotic and the extra-semiotic; (4) the integration of individual, organizational and societal learning into the dialectic of semiosis and structuration; (5) the significance of technologies, in a broadly Foucauldian sense, in the consolidation of hegemony and its contestation in remaking social relations; and (6) its de-naturalization of economic and political imaginaries and contribution to the critique of ideology and domination.

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