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 13: Implications for future research in and on cultural political economy

Putting Culture in its Place in Political Economy

Ngai-Ling Sum and Bob Jessop


This book began by reviewing some achievements of institutional turns in the social sciences and of cultural turns in political economy. It also offered critiques of these turns and identified possibilities for a CPE research agenda (see Part I). The next step was to introduce some useful concepts and analytical strategies from semiotic analysis (focused on semantics and pragmatics) and reception theory in cultural studies (especially literary theory) to underpin a synthesis of grand theory and grounded analytics for the further development of CPE. This enabled us to indicate how CPE can chart and navigate a path between a structuralist Scylla and constructivist Charybdis. Building on this synthesis we presented a heuristic schema for studying the production of hegemony that other researchers could adapt to their own purposes (Part II). As the title of this chapter indicates, this is an unfinished project. Our aim has been to map one path towards a trans-disciplinary CPE that draws on, inter alia, critical discourse analysis (CDA), cultural anthropology, cultural studies, institutional economics, political economy and sociology.

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