Harvey_ConditionofPostmodernity

Harvey_ConditionofPostmodernity - d i 'I The Condition of...

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i d The Condition 'I of Postmodernity An Enquiry into the Origins Cultural Change David Harvey 11 BLACKWELL Comb,;Jr. Mil fr OrIon UK
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~ "' ' """ ~ "- "' . . . . . . . . . __., ,._ _._ .__ .~~, ••""., .~_ . -."~,.-"",. ..~."> ",_,~ •. _~ •. . , ,., , , ",", , , ,~, , , , ~'" " '-" " ' __"_""",_.':""':_"_"""""",,,., <~.~.,, ".,,",,_ ",."'.,_, ••,.»"'."'. . ,. ' ' ' ' ' ", , ,'-'.' '"' <., •., ~, _'".,<'/,.,;",., ,v.,._, ,,,. _'"="'''''' :' ' _,. ,,~.~.,,#. . _, - ,. ',-- -c,'• . . -,.~·'.,~"".LIO_~J'.~ __·"'_ .• h'.,~,~,·" 7 Introduction If there has been some kind of transformation in the political econ- omy of late twentieth-century capitalism, then it behoves us to establish how deep and fundamental the change might be. Signs and tokens of radical changes in labour processes, in consumer habits, in geographical and geopolitical configurations, in state powers and pra~tices, and the like,. abound. Y~e sti~J live, in t~e ;:;~.; a soc~ty where production for ro t remams the bastc 1 mg prUu:.! no . . e. We nee some way, t erefore, to represent all the shifting and~ crning that has gone on since the first major post-war recession 0 197 , which does not lose sight of the fact that the basic rules of a ca . a ist mode of production continue to operate as invariant shaping forces in historical-geographical development. The language (and therefore the hypothesis) that I shall explore is one in which we view recent events as a transition in the regime of accumulation and its associated mode o{social and political regulation. In representing matters this way, tam r~tlng to the language ora certain school of thought known as the 'regulation school.' Their basic argument, pioneered by Aglietta (1979) and advanced by Lipietz (1986), Boyer (1986a; 1986b), and others, can briefly be summarized. A regime of accumulation 'describes the stabilization over a long period of the allocation of the net product between consumption and accumulation; it implies some correspondence between the trans- formation of both the conditions of production and the conditions of reproduction of wage earners.' A particular system of accumulation can exist because 'its schema of reproduction is coherent.' The prob- lem, however, is to bring the behaviours of all kinds of individuals - capitalists, workers, state employees, financiers, and all manner of other political-economic agents - into some kind of configuration that will keep tb.~ regime of accumulation functioning. There must exist, therefore, 'a materialization of the regime otaccumulation -_ '., ~--':y--"";"'~- _-_ _. .- """'-----_._---_.~-----------------_.
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-_. _'N~~~~'",_"~"""' __"'__ '''''_~~''''"''~_'''''''''''_'''~'''''''''''''_'~'''''C;'A· . .• . . '''-f".,.,.~M'''~ . t: <,. .',. . ....,. .~"."'c~ . . . . . o~' . . . ",-.i"i;.; "',;-. &·"' ' '.~,;. . . ' ' '"' ' ' . ,._. . ,>. ..";.~~ . . ,''"'''-'''~ . . ' ' ',. ,''.;.".,._,<. . ..,. . . . ,". . _~~.~,.;''''.",-. .r,, . · T 122 Political-economic capitalist transformation taking the form of norms, habits, laws, regulating networks and so on that ensure the unity of the process, i.e. the appropriate con- sistency of individual behaviours with the schema of reproduction. This body of interiorized rules and social processes is called the mode of regulation' (Lipietz, 1986, 19). This kind of language is useful, in the first instance, as a heuristic device. It focuses our attention upon the complex interrelations, habits, political practices, and cultural forms that allow a highly dynamic, and consequently unstable, capitalist system to acquire sufficient semblance of order to function coherently at least for a certain period of time.
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2012 for the course GEO 273 taught by Professor Gentry during the Spring '08 term at Syracuse.

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Harvey_ConditionofPostmodernity - d i 'I The Condition of...

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