Harnessing the social: state, crisis and (big) society

Dowling, Emma and Harvie, David (2014) Harnessing the social: state, crisis and (big) society. Sociology, 48 (5) . pp. 869-886. ISSN 0038-0385 [Article] (doi:10.1177/0038038514539060)

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The paper analyses the UK government’s plans to create a social investment market. The Big Society as political economy is understood as a response to three aspects of a multi-faceted, global crisis: a crisis of capital accumulation; a crisis of social reproduction; and, a fiscal crisis of the state. While the neoliberal state is retreating from the sphere of social reproduction, further off-loading the costs of social reproduction onto the unwaged realms of the home and the community, it is simultaneously engaging in efforts to enable this terrain of social reproduction to be harnessed for profit. Key to this process are specific government policies, the creation of new financial institutions and instruments and the introduction of the metric of ‘social value’. Policies ostensibly aimed at resolving the crisis in ways that empower local communities, actually foster further financialisation and a deepening of capitalist disciplinary logics into the social fabric.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 20545
Notes on copyright: Dowling, E., & Harvie, D. (2014). Harnessing the Social: State, Crisis and (Big) Society. Sociology, 48(5), 869–886. Copyright © 2014 The Author(s) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038514539060
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Depositing User: Emma Dowling
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 09:47
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 23:21
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/20545

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