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 5: Elaborating the cultural political economy research agenda: selectivities, dispositives and the production of (counter-) hegemonies

Ngai-Ling Sum and Bob Jessop

Extract

This chapter has two main tasks. One is to answer a common question: how can one turn some of CPE’s abstract macro-theoretical claims about semiosis and structuration into a middle-range research agenda? The other is to address the fifth feature of CPE, namely, technological selectivities. The first task involves a more detailed account of the semiotic and structural aspects of social forms and social practices. In previous work we called this meso-level agenda a ‘discursive–material’ approach (Sum 2004, 2009), distinguished the modes of effectiveness and emergent properties of the discursive and material, and emphasized the material aspects of discourse and the discursive aspects of the material (Jessop 2004a, 2009). Chapter 4 clarified these aspects as a basis for navigating between a constructivist Charybdis and a structuralist Scylla in order to provide an integral analysis.

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